FLORA NWAPA-NIGERIA’S FIRST FEMALE NOVELIST
I read quite a number of the books of this remarkable woman called Flora Nwapa in my secondary school. Her novels are so remarkable and captivating that when you pick up her novels, it takes sheer will power to put them down.
I am someone who read my novels from the beginning, the middle and the end because of suspense before going back to the beginning to read the pages in sequence.
I went into her biography and was sad to know she had passed away as far back as 1993. In all probability, I must have heard of her death at that time, but time and events have robbed off that memory.
Flora Nwapa was born in Oguta, on 13 January 1933, the eldest of six children of Christopher who was a Landowner and MD of exporting company that deals in foreign oil and Martha Onyenma who was a schoolteacher. Her mother was the first to obtain the customary standard six examination.
Flora attended the CMS Central School and Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls School before proceeding to the University College Ibadan graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of Edinburgh.
She became a teacher and taught English and Geography at Queens School, Enugu.
Her notable books are EFURU and IDU. She is the first African novelist to be published in Britain. Her book EFURU is said to be about “the uncharacteristic perception of the traditional role ascribed to women.”
She believes that “marriage is not the end of the world; Childlessness is not the end of the world. You must survive one way or the other; there are a hundred and one things to make you happy apart from marriage and children”
In her, view ‘African women needed to be aware that their self-actualization is an inalienable right not the male preserve”
She contributed to her community by the opening of the Oguta Lake for tourism with an Ultra-Modern Golf Course.
She was married to Chief Gogo Nwakuche, a wealthy Industrialist and they had three children, two girls and a boy who are all Lawyers.
This wonderful icon sadly passed away in Enugu on October 16 1993.
Sources: Dr. Marie Umeh, Encyclopedia.com and Wikipedia
- The second extract in quote is from INFORMATION NIGERIA, MARCH 4, 2003