African Writer, Elechi Amadi Dies At 82

It’s been a sad day for ardent readers of African literature.  One of the greatest and most influential African novelists, Elechi Amadi, has been reported dead.

He was 82 years old when he died at the Good Heart hospital in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, 29th July 2016.

My first contact with him was through his novel, The Concubine. It was memorable and engaging and important. The story of a beautiful woman was so unlucky in love, she was said to have been married to a river god.  I still remember our discussions in the literature class.

Some of his works include The Concubine, The Great Ponds, Isiburu, Sunset in Biafra, Dance of Johannesburg, Peppersoup, The Road to Ibadan, The Slave , Estrangement and the Woman of Calabar.

Years later, in 2008, I attended the graduation ceremony for students of his school of creative writing. I took pictures I can no longer find and listened to his kind words of advice. It was a memorable experience for me. I remember feeling at home with the other writers, and I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life. I have been searching for his Biafrian War memoir, Sunset in Biafra. I can’t wait to read it.

I will be publishing anecdotes of meetings with Elechi Amadi and his works. Have you read any of his novels, poems or plays? Have you met him in person? Do send your experiences, essays and/or vignettes to or


I’m off to mourn the legend.

One thought on “African Writer, Elechi Amadi Dies At 82

  • Jul 1, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Oh Elechi Amadi, May Your Soul Rest In Peace!

    As a secondary school student, I was an avid reader of novels in the African Writers Series (AWS). I read Chinua Achebe and the likes of Elechi Amadi. Elechi Amadi’s Concubine made interesting reading. This fired my interest in the literary arts in no small way. I was also privileged to watch a performance of his Isiburu by students of the sub-department of Dramatic Arts while I was studying in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in the eighties.

    Now outside the country, I bask in the euphoria of these champions of the art.People respect me for being from a country with such a rich literary history. It’s such a good feeling to stand on the shoulders of a giant.
    I mourn the legend.


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