Pioneering Novelist of ‘The Joys Of Motherhood’ Buchi Emecheta Dies in Her Sleep

The popular Nigerian Novelist Florence Onyebuchi “Buchi” was found dead in her sleep January 25, 2017 at her care home in London. The Nigerian author whose 20 novels mined her experience as a black single mother in Britain to produce work that inspired a generation of black British writers, has died at the age of 72. The author’s work encompassed adult and children’s fiction, as well as plays.
Buchi Emecheta was born in Lagos in 1944, she moved to England in 1960 with her husband Sylvester Onwordi, to whom she had been engaged from the age of 11. Her 1974 autobiographical novel Second Class Citizen described their unhappy and sometimes violent marriage, which included his burning manuscripts of her work. At the age of 22, Emecheta left her husband and worked to support herself and five children. During this time, she completed a sociology degree at the University of London and contributed a column to the New Statesman about black British life. The columns formed the basis of her 1972 book Into the Ditch.
She used her experience to inform her fiction, her works which touched Nigerian society . However, a stroke in 2010 halted her writing. In her later years, with her son Sylvester, Emecheta ran the publishing house Ogwugwu Afor, which published her work.
Fellow African writers came up to pay tribute to her, inluding her friend and Publisher Margaret Busby. They described Emecheta as an inspiration, not just for pioneering a route into literature for other black women, but for tackling domestic abuse. We pray that her soul will rest in peace for she was a great inspiration to Africans and black women.

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