by Chimamanda Adichie

Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe addresses the Steve Biko memorial ceremony in Cape Town on  the 25th..

Ife mee,
Nnukwu ife mee,
Chinua Achebe anabago,
Onye edemede nke di,
Egwu, onye nnukwu uche, onye obi oma,
Keduzi onye anyi ga-eji eme onu?
Keduzi onye anyi ga-eji jee mba?
Keduzi onye ga-akwado anyi?
Ebenebe egbu o!
Anya mmili julu m anya,
Chinua Achebe, naba no ndokwa,
O ga-adili gi mma,
Naba na ndokwa.

English translation by Adaure Achumba

Something has happened
Something big/grave has happened,
Chinua Achebe is gone.
A great writer, a man of great wisdom, a man with a good heart.
Who shall we brag about?
Who are we going to tell the world about/take to other lands?
Who will guide us?
A storm has passed/a catastrophe has happened.
Tears fill my eyes.
Chinua Achebe rest in peace,
It shall be well with you.
Rest in peace.

This piece was published on Adaura Achumba’s website.

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