Technology giant, Google, honoured late Nigerian literary icon, Chinua Achebe, on its doodle on Thursday.
Google Doodle is a special logo on Google’s homepage that is temporarily alternated and intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements and people.
Surrounded by iconic images of his most famous literary works, Wednesday’s Doodle celebrates Achebe’s legacy.
If he hadn’t died in March of 2013, Achebe who is one of Nigeria’s most popular novelist, poet, professor, and critic, would have clocked 87 today.
Google said on its website on Thursday that Achebe had been honoured to underscore his status as a figure of 20th century literature.
Google said, “One man took it upon himself to tell the world the story of Nigeria through the eyes of its own people.”Chinua Achebe was the studious son of an evangelical priest. A student of English literature, he started writing in the 1950s, choosing English as his medium but weaving the storytelling tradition of the Igbo people into his books.
“His characters were insiders, everyday people such as the village chief (in Things Fall Apart); the priest (in Arrow of God) or the school teacher (in A Man of the People). Through their stories, we witness a Nigeria at the crossroads of civilisation, culture and generations.”
The search engine also said that Achebe’s pen brought to life the land and traditions of the Igbo, the hum of everyday village life; the anticipation and excitement of sacred masquerades.
Google added that Achebe’s pen brought to life the stories of the elders and the honour of warriors; the joy of family and the grief of loss.
It said that Achebe was considered by many to be the father of modern African literature and was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2007.
The novelist was born on November 16, 1930. His first novel Things Fall Apart (1958), often considered his best, is one of the most widely read books in modern African literature.
His journey into the world of African literature began from the University of Ibadan where he studied English literature instead of medicine that was earlier intended.
After Things Fall Apart – which depicts the complex customs of the Igbo people – and the wide acceptance it received, Achebe went on to write No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987).
A titled Igbo chieftain himself, Achebe’s novels focus on the traditions of the Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of Western and traditional African values during and after the colonial era.
His style relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory.
On March 22, 1990, Achebe had a car accident that confined him to the wheelchair for the rest of his life.
He won among others, the Man Booker International Prize in 2007.
In October 2012, Achebe’s publishers, Penguin Books, released what became his last published book ‘There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra.’ He died in March, the following year.