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Nigerian Literary Icon Buchi Emecheta Passes On At 72



One of Africa’s most celebrated writers, Buchi Emecheta has passed on.

Buchi, born on July 21, 1944 passed on in her sleep on Wednesday in London.

Buch, who has also written plays and an autobiography, published more than 20 books, including Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979).

Following her success as an author, Buchi travelled widely as a visiting professor and lecturer. From 1972 to 1979 she visited several American universities, including Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

From 1980 to 1981, she was senior resident fellow and visiting professor of English, University of Calabar, Nigeria. In 1982 she lectured at Yale University, and the University of London, as well as holding a fellowship at the University of London in 1986.

She earned a BSc degree in Sociology at the University of London.

Among honours received during her literary career, Buchi won the Jock Campbell Award from the New Statesman in 1979, and was on Granta magazine’s 1983 list of “Best of the Young British Novelists”.

In September 2004, she appeared in the historic “A Great Day in London” photograph taken at the British Library, featuring 50 Black and Asian writers who have made major contributions to contemporary British literature. In 2005, she was made an OBE.

Condolences to the family.


  1. Mohammad

    January 26, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Wow! A powerhouse who will be missed but whose impact will continue to live on in her work and will gather more influence in the generations to come. I salute you ma’am!

  2. Cocolette

    January 26, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Wow ? ? Her impact in Nigerian literature will forever be felt…Adieu Momma!

  3. Pat

    January 26, 2017 at 3:46 am

    RIP and great inspiration and contribution to d society.

  4. Anon

    January 26, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Thanks for being a part of my childhood. Sleep well.

  5. kpomkwem

    January 26, 2017 at 4:47 am


    • nene+

      January 26, 2017 at 9:02 am

      So touched. She was a great prose writer. Her works were vivid.
      Rest in peace ma’am.

  6. nnenne

    January 26, 2017 at 4:53 am

    She was a literary anthropologist, for I read some of her books. . The bride Price, second class citizen and the joys of motherhood.
    RIP Ma’am!!!!

  7. Mavi

    January 26, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Oh no! This hit me hard. Too young to die. She gave me my first glimpse of Igbo feminity and struggles.
    Rest In Peace “brown skin gal” and Thank You.

  8. Yewi

    January 26, 2017 at 6:31 am

    OMG this is so sad. Our time on this earth really is limited. Her books contributed a lot to my deep interest and love for African literature as I read them over and over again. I have fond memories of her books and I will never forget her. RIP Buchi Emecheta, you were indeed a literary icon and your light will always shine through your books.

  9. Blessed Child

    January 26, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Buchi Emecheta’s Joys of Motherwood is a master piece.. As a student of English Language and Literary Studies at the University,reading and analysis Buchi’s books was always a pleasure. A feminist without apologies May God bless you soul and grant you peace. Amen

  10. Amaka

    January 26, 2017 at 7:00 am

    I read your work and It feels like I am transported into your world, walking along with you on your journey, not a lot of writers have that effect.
    You were a role model for me .
    You overcame the trials and adversity that would have crushed many, you fought for your children and your dreams and you left your mark.
    For this we celebrate you.

  11. funmilola

    January 26, 2017 at 7:59 am

    one of Africa’s literature pillars is gone!
    totally enjoyed reading Joys of motherhood… rest in peace ma’am,you did well!

  12. Ruhamah

    January 26, 2017 at 8:10 am

    A great icon is gone. RIP.. You will be missed by all. I rem when i was in secondary school, I was and still is a lover of literary books.. I read ” joy of motherhood’ like a thousand times. I still rem their names from Ona to nnu ego to nkwocha agbadi to oshiaju ngozi, taiye ,kehinde okpor etc. It was my best novel in secondary school days. May the lord grant your family the fortitude to bear this loss. Amen.

  13. Sel

    January 26, 2017 at 8:20 am

    This woman is the reason why I am an equalist today. Her book ‘Joys of Motherhood’ was eyeopening. RIP Ma’m

  14. Mo'Diva

    January 26, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for triggering the love of literature in me. You lived well Ma. I will never forget the Joys of Motherhood

  15. Nuna

    January 26, 2017 at 9:19 am

    This touched me deeply. The joys of motherhood will always be a masterpiece. RIP ma

  16. jesbadoma

    January 26, 2017 at 9:26 am

    My heart weeps for the passing unto eternity of this great lady. Rest in peace Mama. Your legend will live through your excellent literary works. Generations will hear about you.

  17. Moniker

    January 26, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Joys Of Motherhood. Is a blessing. All day, everyday

  18. Diuto

    January 26, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I’m blessed to have read some of your books. RIP ma

  19. Naya

    January 26, 2017 at 9:56 am

    La n’udo Nneoma! Your book ‘The Joys of Motherhood’ was my best novel in Secondary School. The analysis of it always excited me. So much was its impact that I named my blog after one of the characters – Nnuego. Thank you for your contribution to literature. Adieu Mama.

  20. Pink

    January 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    The joys of motherhood!!! I can never forget that book. Rest in peace Ma.

  21. E

    January 26, 2017 at 11:25 am

    The Joys of Motherhood is in my list of books to buy soon …….RIP Ma’m.

  22. nammy

    January 26, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Love her books.
    You’ll be greatly missed.

  23. molarah

    January 26, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    And to think I was just reminiscing about “Joys of Motherhood” a while back.

    72 years, wow. Didn’t think she was that young.

    May she rest in peace.

  24. Ankara

    January 26, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    When ever i hear this word motherhood i think of this lady. The joys of Motherhood. Sweet university days. Sleep well mama. Your mark will never be erased.

  25. vincent

    January 26, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Joys of motherhood was a beautiful read!! I remember finishing in 3 days. Rest in peace Ma

  26. Engoz

    January 26, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    “The first book I wrote was The Bride Price which was a romantic book, but my husband burnt the book when he saw it. I was the typical African woman, I’d done this privately, I wanted him to look at it, approve it and he said he wouldn’t read it. And later he burnt the book and I think by that time this urge to write had become more important to me than he realised, and that was the day I said I’m going to leave this marriage and he said “what for, that stupid book” and I said “I just feel you just burn my child”” Buchi Emecheta

  27. Manny

    January 26, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Buchi Emecheta!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like I lost a family member.

  28. Obiageli

    January 26, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. dear. May her soul rest in peace. The bride price is one of my all time favourite novels. Before ultra modern feminist chiamanda there was original feminist Buchi Emecheta.

  29. Zanice Bond

    January 27, 2017 at 1:23 am

    RIP, Buchi Emecheta. ‘Enjoyed reading and teaching your marvelous work. Condolences to the Emecheta family.

  30. Dedo

    January 27, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I loved her through her books. She was an amazing woman, mother and writer. May she rest peacefully after successfully running her race.

  31. Josiah

    February 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    It was quite disheartening to hear she passed away….I loved everything about her works….She wrote with such clarity and eloquence….Although I never knew much about her….but her works were excellent….Rest in the Bossom of the Lord Ma…!!!

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