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Friday, 22 March 2013

R.I.P Chinua Achebe

I have not read a lot of his work. I however consider 'Things Fall Apart' as my favorite book. The very first copy of the book I read was dirty, had no covers and had lost a few of the initial pages until about half way through the introduction. The rest of the book was intact but had that old book smell. I found it about two months after JSS, when I went for a military-style church camp meeting for teenage boys at the Abuakwa State College in the Eastern Region. It was lying amongst several other books and clothes scattered on the dorm floor to which my group was allocated. One could easily guess the mess had been created by SSS 3 students who had completed writing their final examinations a few weeks ago.

I started reading the book at the camp but the schedule for the camp was hectic and so had to take the book along and finish reading it at home. The story held my young mind captive from the very first paragraph. Very few things could hold my attention like that then. I fell in love with the book and I've lost count of how many times I have had to reread it to get away from this noisy world since then.

The simplicity in his writing just beat my mind. How can a man with such knowledge of the English language always use the simplest of words and expressions? Even my friends in SSS used all sorts of big words to make them look more 'shark' than us mere mortals who were struggling to stay in those war zones they called classrooms in Accra Academy. It was in Accra Aca where I met my favorite teacher, Mrs. Bankas. You guessed right, she taught us English. What did she preach? Write simple English, don't confuse yourself. Something I had already noticed in the late professor's work. Need I say more? 

R.I.P Sir.