Nigeria’s Literary Amazon, Buchi Emecheta, Dies at 72

Nigeria’s literary icon who has been based in Britain since 1960, Buchi Emecheta, has died. She died in her sleep on Wednesday in London. She was aged 72.

Regarded as Nigeria’s best-known woman writer, Emecheta is respected for her imaginative and documentary writing about African women’s experiences in Africa and in Great Britain.

The late author wrote plays and an autobiography and published more than 20 books, including Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979).

Following her success as an author, Buchi travelled widely as a visiting professor and lecturer. From 1972 to 1979, she visited several American universities, including Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Shortly thereafter, she and her journalist son founded a publishing company in London and Nigeria, named Ogwugwu Afor.


Since 1979, Emecheta has also served on numerous British committees as a respected voice for arts, integrationist, and women’s issues, although she rejects the feminist label.

She achieved a PhD in social education in 1991.

From 1980 to 1981, she was a senior resident fellow and visiting professor of English, University of Calabar, Nigeria.

In 1982 she lectured at Yale University, and the University of London, as well as holding a fellowship at the University of London in 1986.

She earned a BSc degree in Sociology at the University of London.

Some of the honours she received during her literary career, include the Jock Campbell Award from the New Statesman in 1979, and being listed on Granta magazine’s 1983 list of “Best of the Young British Novelists”.

In September 2004, she appeared in the historic “A Great Day in London” photograph taken at the British Library, featuring 50 Black and Asian writers who have made major contributions to contemporary British literature.

In 2005, she was made an OBE.




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