25 March 2013
South African President Jacob Zuma has sent his condolences following the death of Nigerian author Chinua Achebe.
Achebe passed away in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States on Thursday at the age of 82.
“I have learnt with great sadness of the passing of this colossus of African writing. Chinua Achebe was indeed Africa’s greatest literary export and a legend of African literature,” Zuma said in a statement on Friday.
“It was in his famous novel Things Fall Apart that many Africans saw themselves in literature and arts at the time when most of the writing was about Africans but not by Africans.”
The President said that the African continent owed a debt of gratitude to Achebe.
“On behalf of the South African government and all her people, we wish to send our deepest condolences to the Achebe family, his birth country of Nigeria and the whole literature community. May his soul rest in peace.”
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory also passed on their condolences to the family of Achebe, “a great African writer and thinker.”
“Nelson Mandela referred to Achebe as a writer ‘in whose company the prison walls fell down’,” said spokesperson for the centre, Sello Hatang.