13 January 2017
Friday the 13th is typically known for its superstitious connotations, and it doesn’t happen so frequently every year.
In 2017, there will be only two Friday the 13ths, one in October and one today. But that’s not the only thing that makes this date memorable, today, Friday the 13th of January, is also what would have been Flora Nwapa’s 86th birthday.
For those not too familiar with the history of Nigerian literature, Flora Nwapa was an icon of woman empowerment and a fierce advocate for female education and improvement all over the world. She was a pioneer African female writer, who shattered glass ceilings at the time when they were ten-inch thick.
After her first novel, Efuru, was published in 1966 by Heinemann Educational Books, she became known as the first African woman novelist to be published in the English language in Britain and achieve international recognition, forerunner to a generation of African women writers.
Although she never liked to identify herself as a feminist, but much of her subsequent work and novels spoke of her devotion to promoting the cause of the African woman in the society.
Her inspiring life speaks more by what she did than what she said or wrote. She founded two publishing outfits; Tana Press in 1974 and the Flora Nwapa Company in 1977 with which she published most of her own adult and children’s literature as well as work by other writers.
Before her death, her career moved on to more administrative work, but she remained committed to literature and fighting for the real African woman’s narrative to be heard.
She died of pneumonia on October 16, 1993 at the age of 62.
Today, the world and especially Africa remembers Nwapa. Africa women and especially African women writers owe much of what they have now to the things she started decades ago.
In honour of her incredible achievements and devotion, today’s Google homepage image is in honor of her, her work and her timeless effort for African women and literature the world over.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.