I write because I want to write. I write because I have a story to tell. There is this urge always to write and put things down. I do not presume that I have a mission. If you continue to read my books, maybe you could find the mission. But I continue to write because I feel fulfilled. I feel satisfied in what I’m doing.
In remembrance of the great Flora Nwapa, her pioneering novel, Efuru (published in 1966), was widely celebrated last year with a nationwide programme tagged “Efuru at 50”.
Today, January 13, 2017, marks the 86th posthumous birthday of Flora Nwapa—Google created a special doodle to mark this day!
In the spirit of this posthumous veneration, let me share with you some affable things you should know about the great Flora Nwapa.
- Flora Nwapa is the first published Nigerian woman writer. Her first novel, Efuru, was published in 1966.
- Flora Nwapa is also the first African female writer to be published internationally. Efuru was published by Heinemann Educational Books London.
- Flora Nwapa, arguably, is the first Nigerian woman to set up a publishing company—Tana Press Limited (1977). She also had another publishing outfit that focused on Children’s fiction, Flora Nwapa and Co.
- In August 2016, the story of Flora Nwapa was made into a documentary film with the title “The House of Nwapa” by Onyeka Nwelue.
- She was decorated with The Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) Award in 1982 by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
- University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) also gave her a Merit Award for authorship and Publishing in 1985.
- Ogbuefi, the most prestigious chieftaincy title commonly conferred on men of great achievement was conferred on Flora Nwapa in 1978.
- Flora Nwapa was also the first woman Commissioner for Health and Social Welfare of the former East Central State.