Chinua Achebe: A life in writing
Network & Technology
'Nigeria is once again on the brink of a precipice. We have to face up to our responsibilities before it is too late'
The mission of Ndi-Ichie Cultural Club and Ndi-Ichie Youth Cultural Foundation, is to reclaim cultural capital where it’s been damaged or lost. We work with the children, young adults, those who are most impressionable, and those who are most in need to learn and practice. Our focus is on the Nigerian, African diaspora communities as well as the greater Houston where we stage annual cultural festivals, Igbo language competition, cultural dance and folklore competition.
Some 15 years ago, the lawyer Remy C. Ilona traveled deep into rural Nigeria, on bus rides that lasted seven hours and through villages without electricity, just to hear stories. The folklore of origins and customs of his people, the Igbo, could be forgotten within a generation. So he came to document them. “These things are not recorded in books,” Ilona said. “I studied the tradition directly.”
On treks to distant corners of his country, Ilona packed notepads, pens and a camera. But just as important to this work was a reference book: a Hebrew Bible. “I could understand the Tanach better because I understood the Igbos,” Ilona reflected. “And vice versa.”
In January 1966 Chinua Achebe attended a meeting of the newly founded Society of Nigerian Authors. His 1958 debut novel, Things Fall Apart, had made him a literary celebrity abroad and an influential public intellectual at home. But six years after the celebrations and optimism that marked Nigerian independence, he says there were already "far too many indications that we might not be going to have a good time. There was theft, corruption and even some violence. It wasn't yet a complete failure, and we still thought we could get things right. But the SNA was sort of a trade union. We thought it would keep us writers safe."
Network & Technology
Meet the Igbo, Nigeria's Lost Jewish Tribe
Igbo art (Igbo: Ǹkà Igbo) is any body of visual art originating from the Igbo people. The Igbo produce a wide variety of art including traditional figures, masks, artifacts and textiles, plus works in metals such as bronze. Artworks form the Igbo have been found from as early as 9th century with the bronze artifacts found at Igbo Ukwu.