Where Achebe Got It Wrong!


Re: Rewriting Literature after…..

inspired by Godwin Adindu ‘s critique of Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and the essence of values.

This discourse is centred on the notion that Unoka was a failure but deeper insights have revealed otherwise, given the fact that individual values or pursuits differ as goals must not and cannot be the same.

Unoka did not fail but the realities of time and space presented him as such, which Achebe tried to mirror, though if you ask some, you will also come to terms with the general in-thing that the Igbo republican nature is most times predicated on liquid physical achievement.

Thoughts develop as one matures. Achebe’s tilt, methinks, would have been different today, given the fact that Unoka was ‘wealthy’ somewhat because it takes an eloquently analytic and most times, an extraordinary deep mind to conceive music.

That line of endeavor is deep, spiritual I must say.

Onyenachi ya captured it all. It is all in one’s EKE, that is, one’s potent energy of physical manifestation. That is why we have names like Ejieke, Ekeoma, Ekechukwu et al.

In Okonkwo’s wealth, how did he end?

He despised his father and Ala(Ani) despised him. He committed suicide, which is the height of abomination in Igbo land and possibly elsewhere. His father joined his forebears decently. Okonkwo’s remains was discarded like an accursed thing.

Moreso, Okonkwo committed the atrocious when out of inherent fear, the fear of being seen as weak, murdered Ikemefuna, a boy that called him father, bringing to bare that parenting is sacred, whether the ‘parented’ is of same bloodline or not.

Unoka obviously was more accommodating and liberal. Okonkwo, the assumed man of wealth and substance was not. Unoka was deep and philosophical, so much so that when a man he was indebted to came for his pound of flesh, somewhat, Unoka showed him lines drawn on his wall, some long, some short, signifying the magnitude of debts he must pay back, according to their degrees. “I must pay back the big ones first…” If it were Okonkwo who was so indebted and the indebted visited the way Unoka was, maybe, another ‘nso ani’ would have been committed.

Who, between the duo, given the above was a man of strength? But then, was Okonkwo’s fearful disposition a curse by or from his chi? Was it his fate? Was it his Eke? Was his Eke, Eke Ojóór? Was he not determined enough to change the narrative, assuming but not conceding Unoka his father was indeed, a loafer?

Okonkwo had inherent atelophobia. That was his greatest undoing and he tagged along. It was his Eke, I dare to submit.

Who then was wealthy, between a man who through music, appealed to the soul and essence of man’s existence and a man, who out of the fear of being seen as a failure(Okonkwo indeed was), ending up taking his life?

Senior Godwin Adindu , you have a way of opening up some stuff I would not ordinarily want to delve into in public space.

What really is the essence of life?

Okonkwo sought public validation and the same public threw his carcass into the evil forest. His father, the ‘loafer’ joined his ancestors in dignity. Between the duo, wither wealth?



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