The story of Onyebuchi Emecheta whom the world knew as Buchi, is at the same time that of a personal and communal triumph; the triumph of the personal will and communal efforts over the vicissitudes of life.
Much has been said about her deprivations at childhood. Without trying to water that down in any way, I would wish to place it in its true perspective. She grew up in the 1940s; a time of widespread social change in Nigeria. Primary school education was still sipping into many parts of the Nigerian hinterland, starting from the littoral areas such as Lagos and Calabar where the first white Christian evangelists first established their schools.
By the 1940s, poverty was still widespread in Nigeria and the urban centres were still few and far between. While primary school education was within the reach of any child whose parents were forward looking, or who had embraced Christianity in the Christian missionary schools that were coming up even in the villages, secondary school education was open only to the most fortunate few.
Buchi Emecheta, who by this time was already living in Nigeria’s greatest metropolis, Lagos, was among the fortunate few. Her father, a veteran who had fought in Burma during the Second World War on the side of Britain, had an uncommon exposure that opened up several doors. No wonder, he was working in the then elite work force of Nigeria; the railways. So, Buchi had a life of promise before her.
Then tragedy struck! Her father died. She was barely eight years old. Despite all the promise of the life ahead of her, despite her visible intelligence due to the top-flight results she must have earned in the primary school she had attended. That her father died would have spelt the end of the road for Buchi Emecheta but for something that has remained a major plank of the progress, the remarkable progress, the unstoppable progress, the celebratory progress that has set Ibusa apart as a domain of progress and development.
That thing is communal effort. When words reached Mr. Hallim, then a senior civil service employee of the old Western Region in Ibadan, that there was a prodigiously gifted girl who had exhibited brilliance in her short stint at school, he reacted like the average Ibusa man or woman; that the young Buchi must return to school. We may never know how Mr. Hallim came about that fateful knowledge. Well, what is important is the result; Buchi returned to school because an Ibusa man who was not her real father treated her as though she were his own real daughter.
From there, Onyebuchi opened up her wings and soared like the eagle. From there, she studied voraciously. From there she became the Buchi that was known and celebrated across the globe. From there, she became the Buchi that the world has joined Ibusa town to mourn today.
There is the Buchi, the product of hard work; the single mother who raised five children and still found the time to author 21 books. The challenges she faced and overcame were fully reflected in Buchi’s often-autobiographical literary harvest.
Somebody wrote about her that: “The main source of inspiration for her writing, however, was Africa, and in particular the villages of Ibusa in (Delta State) Nigeria where her family came from. Even though she had spent a relatively brief period of her childhood there, the villages and the stories she heard on her visits with her mother left an indelible mark on the impressionable young girl and became the lodestone for all she wrote. In The Slave Girl (1977, for which she won the New Statesman’s jock Campbell award), The Bride Price (1976), and the ironically titled The Joys of Motherhood (1979), she poignantly captured, in a manner reminiscent of her male contemporary Chinua Achebe, a vanishing Igbo culture in the process of transition to modernity.” Sylvester Onwordi, the man who wrote those words should know Buchi intimately because he is her very own son. And not surprisingly, he is a writer too!
So, even though Buchi Emecheta left Ibusa very early in life, Ibusa never left her for a minute. She remained a true Ibusa daughter, giving her literary creativity sustenance from Ibusa. She not only identified with Ibusa, she flew the Ibusa flag to the farthest corners of Planet Earth for wherever her books were ever read, the blog on the book covers always announced the name of her home town as though she always felt the duty to pay homage to the place of her birth. Her son wrote: “A constant refrain throughout my childhood was that she would one day return to Ibusa – a place that took on an almost mythical significance for us within the family. She made many plans to return over many years, even building a house in the village while working as professor at the University of Calabar – an experience that formed the basis for her novel Double Yoke (1983). But having lived in the UK for so many years, she found it increasingly difficult to adapt to life in modern Nigeria. And Ibusa, in her long absence, was transforming itself into a town and a conurbation that she barely recognised any more.”
Just like Buchi the girl who left Ibusa in her childhood changed, so too did her dear town also change for change is the only constant in life. None can begrudge her not returning to live fully in Ibusa. That would be asking for too much. That she knew and cherished where she came from, is enough for us. What has never been in doubt is her love for Ibusa.
Although the first reaction, upon hearing of her death, is to mourn, this is not a dirge. Instead, I hereby raise a hymn of celebration to thank God for sending to Ibusa such a wonderfully gifted writer. Instead of mourning, I hereby celebrate her focus in life and the hard work behind all she achieved.
Yes, I celebrate Onyebuchi Emecheta, the Ibusa girl who conquered the world.
Dr. Izagbo is the President-General, Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU) Worldwide.
‘I Tested Positive To HIV After Gang Raped By 3 Men – Chef Ayomide
Nigerian chef, Ayomide Idowu, who is also a male rape survivor, has taken to his Instagram page to tell his story.
The openly gay young man recalled how he was allegedly gang raped by 3 hoodlums at the age of 19 because of his sexuality and how he eventually contracted HIV.
Ayomide revealed his life never remained the same as he was also arrested and victimized by the police.
In his words;
“I could remember last 5years ago
What I pass through from 3 hoodlums
I was thoroughly beaten and gang-raped
All because I’m Gay…they took advantage of me
I was 19years old boy then, I suffered humiliation
Arbitrary arrest from police,inhuman degrading treatment,I lost my precious Home at the age of 19years..no parents no family…it really hurts to be an orphan….after I lost my virginity from the raped….having unprotected sex from those hoodlums I WAS TESTED POSITIVE….being positive my mood changed…I started my medication and think less…I stay away from smoking and alcohol…I eat Good fruits and vegetables…thanks to God I’m a testifier now
I’m undetectable my CD4 850 viral load 10
It really worth testimony 🙏🤦im looking healthy and stunning…being HIV positive is not the end of life…it reveals the other side of you…my aims of sharing my life threatening story as an orphan,so that people can learn from this…. 5years living positively”
See his post below:
Actress Osas Ighodaro Celebrates Her 30th Birthday With Emotional Post
Nigerian actress, Osas Ighodaro penned an emotional note via Instagram as she clocked 30-years-old on Monday.
To mark her birthday, the single mother of one posted a monochrome photo of herself as she wished for people to continue praying for those who lost their lives during these turbulent period.
“Thank God for another year. Happy Birthday to me. If you know me, you know I absolutely love birthdays but this year it certainly hits different. I’m overwhelming grateful for life and thankful to God to be able to see another birthday bc unfortunately many haven’t and won’t have that opportunity.
I am hopeful for better days for myself, those that I love and hold dear and most certainly for my country Nigeria. I pray for unity, peace, harmony and togetherness. We all deserve it.
My birthday wish is to please continue to pray for those innocent lives lost. Please remain hopeful and focused because I truly believe better days are soon ahead by God’s grace.
Peace, Love and Blessings.”
See her post below:
Exotic Resorts May Be the Best Bet for a Holiday
An exotic vacation usually means exploring a distant foreign country, whilst resorts are places
to go for rest, sport, or which offers a particular speciality, with many resorts being part of a
popular tourist destination or on or near a beach. If you are planning a vacation to an exotic
resort it can be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to a far-flung destination or a luxurious place to
stay closer to home where you can enjoy some pampering.
Why stay at an exotic resort
Exotic resorts often offer all-inclusive vacation deals, along with other options that leave you
to plan your stay more precisely to your own wishes. These resorts offer excellent customer
service, superb accommodation and facilities and are usually to be found in beautiful settings.
Here are some of the best resorts from around the world for you to consider:
Four Seasons Resort, Seychelles
This famous resort has made many feel they have entered Paradise. The gentle ocean breeze
floats up the granite hillside and into your tree-house villa tucked away from the other guests
staying at the resort. This is perfect for encouraging you to relax, either by your private pool
or in the clear blue waters of Petite Anse Bay. Perfect for a romantic stay, there is a Spa for
pampering and the chance for a sunset meal on a deserted beach.
Some enjoy simply sitting on their balcony, gazing at the ocean between reading their book,
sketching or checking out international bookmakers and betting sites for the chance of a
flutter. If you want another type of adrenaline kick, check out the resorts excellent kayaking
and snorkelling facilities, which are recommended by nearly all who try it.
Anantara Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
The ultimate tropical getaway, the Anantara Resort is an award-winning site modelled on a
traditional Thai village and is just three hours drive south of Bangkok. The location is where
Thai royalty and aristocrats have been holidaying for almost one-hundred years. Today, you
can visit historical attractions alongside theme parks and shops as well as vineyards and golf
The resort is set among 14 acres of lush tropical grounds with lotus-filled lagoons and
meandering pathways through exotic foliage, with many rooms overlooking the shoreline.
Each day, chefs prepare freshly caught local seafood alongside Thai specialities. The resort
also has an award-winning spa located within a lagoon-inspired oasis offering you the perfect
opportunity to relax.
Kurumba is a well-established resort that opened almost 50 years ago and continues to offer
superb hospitality and contemporary facilities. There are seven speciality restaurants offering
cuisine from Italy to the Middle East as well as Thila, a restaurant which extends out over the
water which offers gourmet breakfasts and seafood dinners.
You can go snorkelling over the nearby reef full of colourful marine life or sign up to a dive
package as part of your stay, or just enjoy a private pool when staying at one of the spacious
villages. There are also deluxe beachfront bungalows offering direct beach access and views
of the crystal-clear waters.
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