New beginnings, i am sure everyone is familiar with the concept. There is always that need to start afresh, especially when it seems that one has been threading a path that was not so smooth to begin with….. There is always that silent belief in your head that somehow you own a sort of “refresh history” button, and you are mostly very convinced that you can change and start afresh. This morning was one of those times for me….. Having been through certain things in this small life of mine, i have been able to make myself believe that i can actually start afresh if i put my mind to it. However, there seems to be an armada of reasons why this “feature” i recently added to my “skill set” is not working…… 😦
This morning while musing about the way my life seems to be static at this time, i scrolled down my timeline on twitter, and i stumbled on the news that the literary icon, Chinua Achebe had passed away. At first, i refused to believe the news, because Nigerian bloggers were quite fond of telling unfounded stories, so i tried to confirm the news. Now, when it dawned on me that the author of There Was a Country was really dead, i began to take inventory of my own life. Yes, Chinua Achebe is by no means my age mate, heck, he was old enough to be my grandfather (he was actually of the same age range as my grandfather who is still alive), but still, i felt the urge to take stock of my life.
Chinua Achebe did Nigeria proud in more ways than one. Asides from being a literary icon, i found out that he had studied History as one of the courses he took as a student at the University of Ibadan. If you have ever read any of his works you would see how much of a historian he was; a story teller, shooting Africa to literary limelight with books such as Things Fall Apart, Anthills of the Savannah and Arrow of God to name a few. Reading his biography, i realized that this man had the making of a great person right from his years as a young person. He was, to me, one of the very lucky Nigerians, having been born in an era when being intelligent really mattered. I remember taking a keen interest in his recent work, “There was a country: a personal history of Biafra”. I wanted to read the book basically because of the furor that began in the wake of its publication. As a student of History, i had never been too impressed with Nigerian history as such, and so i felt his book would provide an exciting view point to the events that in more than one way led to the moulding of this country. I was not disappointed, at last, someone had made an aspect of Nigerian History an interesting read for me! He was an excellent writer….. He would be missed by a lot of people who value good literature……
Going back to my soliloquy, i wondered, Achebe might be dead now, but his legacy would live on. Generations would remember his name, and his works would always be remembered for their ingenuity and their representation of the African mind. Then i asked myself, “what have you achieved”? and then the other part of me says “but you are still young now….. do not beat yourself up”….. The truth is i know myself, and i really have decided to be true to myself. At my age, i am sure the young Achebe had begun to thread the path to his greatness. Heck, he already had two degrees at my age! I began to think of my activities in the past days, and how i have constantly concerned myself with issues that have done more to bring me down than push me forward……. Then i asked myself, can i really start afresh???