Flora Nwapa aka Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa is an innovative Nigerian writer. She is known as the mother of contemporary African literature and one of the exceptional Nigerian authors.
Being the first female author in Nigeria whose first novel (Efuru, 1966) was published in English in Great Britain, Flora became famous for showing African life through a woman’s eyes.
Today, on the 13 January 2018, Florence is celebrating her 86th birthday!!
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1. Flora Nwapa biography
Flora Nwapa, (Jan. 13, 1931, Oguta, Nigeria—Oct. 16, 1993, Enugu) was a Nigerian novel writer whose acclaim should be ascribed to picturing Igbo life and traditions from a woman’s point of view.
Nwapa went to school in Ogula, Port Harcourt, and then in Lagos and she entered the University College in Ibadan that she graduated in1957. She also attended the University of Edinburgh.
After graduation, she was teaching and doing some administrative work in Nigeria from 1959 until the outbreak of Biafran civil war in 1967. Having worked as a commissioner for health and social welfare in East Central state as the war ended, she finally founded her own Tana Press/Flora Nwapa Company so that she could publish books by African authors.
The first Nwapa’s novel, Efuru (1966) takes roots from an old folk legend about a woman who was chosen by gods. Other Flora Nwapa books such as Idu (1970), «This Is Lagos», «Other Stories» (1971), «One Is Enough»(1981), «Women Are Different» (1986) also portray women’s life in contemporary Nigerian society vividly and sympathetically.
Never Again (1975) and Wives at War, and Other Stories (1980) were written about the Biafran conflict while Cassava Song and Rice Song (1986) is the only book of poetry coming from Flora Nwapa.
2. 6 amazing Flora Nwapa quotes
- About being a writer: “I only write because I have a craving to do so. I write because there’s a story I want to tell. I don’t claim I have a mission. I keep on writing simply because this makes me feel fulfilled and content about what I do.”
- About the tragedy of War: “Why were we so arrogant and stupid to start the desolation and wickedness of this death-bringing war? When this horrible war is over, there should not be any other war ever again!
- About Religion: “Nothing can perplex God.”
- About Women: “I want to paint an optimistic picture about the women Nigeria, in Africa since there are lots of women who have a positive attitude, very independent and very hard-working.”
- About Wives and mothers: “A woman who takes her husband as a father will die an orphan.”
- About African Women: “The African Woman is smart, good-looking, industrious and everything else a perfect woman must be… She possesses an outstanding spirit of independence”.
3. African female writers of the first generation
«Efuru» and «Idu» by Flora Nwapa take their place alongside other works by female writers that are definitely worth reading:
- Zulu Sofola «The Deer and The Hunter’s Pearls» (1966) and «Wedlock of the Gods» (1972);
- Mabel Segun, «My Father’s Daughter» (1965)
- Florence Onyebuchi “Buchi” Emecheta, «Second-Class Citizen» (1974), «The Bride Price» (1976), «The Slave Girl (1977)» and «The Joys of Motherhood» (1979).
- Adaora Lily Ulasi, «Many Thing You No Understand» (1970) and «Many Things Begin For Change».
4. Flora Nwapa’s 86th Birthday by Google Doodle
Of course, Google marks 86th birthday of Flora Nwapa with it’s Google Doodle». And, as we know, Google devotes it only to Glorious!
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