Chinua Achebe


Chinua Achebe



Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 in Nneobi, Nigeria. He is a Nigerian author, poet and critic. He is perhaps best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which is regarded as the most widely read book in modern African literature.

Achebe grew up in a Christian family in the Igbo village of Ogidi in south eastern Nigeria. He excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies. He became fascinated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. After graduation Achebe moved to the city of Lagos, where he in 1954 was hired at the Nigerian Broadcasting Service. He worked there until just before the Biafra war broke out in 1967. During the war he was working for the Biafra diplomat service.

In 1962 Achebe was the first editor of the African Writers Series, published by the British Heineman. He has a had an extensive academic career, and has held positions at universities in Nigeria and the United States. He is currently professor of languages and literature at Bard College of New York.


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I am supposed to find relevant facts about the country Nigeria, and I will find out how Nigeria’s situation is today.


Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic located in West-Africa. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with more than 120 million inhabitants, and accounting for about one-fifth of the continent’s people. The capital is Abuja with 452 000 inhabitants. In Nigeria they speak five different languages: English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Fulani. Their religion could be Muslim, Christian, and Indigenous beliefs.  


Niger has more than 250 ethnic groups and the largest are the Yoruba, the Hausa and Fulani and the Igbo. Northern Nigeria is mostly Islamic and dominated by the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group. Southern Nigeria is more westernized and urbanized than the north, with the Yoruba in the southwest and the Igbo in the southeast. It is estimated that about half the Yoruba’s are Christian and half Muslim. The Igbo in the southwest tend to be Christian.  


Nigeria was a British colony until 1960. In the first time as an independent state the country was a federation consisting of Northern, Eastern and Western region, where the regions had widespread autonomy. Nigeria became Republic in 1963, but conflicts between the different people groups remained strong.

Nigeria is, in many ways, a unique country within the context of political development. Within seven years of independence the country was plunged into civil war, which followed by a serried of military governments, and changes in governmental. Following twelve years of turmoil, a freely elected civilian government returned to power in 1979.



When oil was discovered in Nigeria, most people in the country thought that it was the best thing that had happened to the country other than gaining its political independence. Distrust between north and south have long contributed to be the internal strife and conflicts in Nigeria, both during and after the colonial era. Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil producers and the large oil revenues are important source of conflict and corruption in the country. Over a quarter trillion dollars in oil has been lifted from Nigerian soils and waters in the last 40 years. But after years of military rule and rampant corruption, fueled by these oil monies the country is mired in billions of dollars in debt and is wracked with poverty.


The average life expectancy in Nigeria is 43 years. It is 44 years for woman, and 43 years for men. Round 67.3% of the male population over 15 years can read and write, among woman the figure is 49.6%. At school there are more than 18 million students in Nigerian schools. That is more than the total human population of South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania and the school population of France, Britain and Spain. Today there are 31 universities in Nigeria.




One of Nigeria’s biggest internal challenges is the high crime level. Particularly violent crime is prevalent. The population is generally low confidence in police and security forces ability to combat the high crime in the country, and is also considered by many to be a part of the problem. Due to the police inability to deal with the problem of violence has been formed in several places borgervern groups.


The country’s economy was formerly based on agriculture, since the 1970-year strongly dominated by oil. Despite the large oil deposits have not Nigeria succeeded to exploit the sometimes substantial export earnings for sustainable economic development, and the country is still regarded as a low income countries. Ca 2/3 of the population live below the poverty line of 1 USD per day, and Nigeria are ranked as one of the world’s poorest countries, with low social development. The number of poor has grown from the middle of 1980-year, including because agricultural production has not kept pace with the growth in people.



So Nigeria is a hard working land, with a lot of crime and uncertainty among the population, what do you guys think about the high crime level after reading this? Can you give some examples?

Why do you think Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world, but are one of the largest oil producers? How can we explain that?


NIGERIA OILviolent_crime







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Introduction of “Dead Men’s Path”

Dead Men’s Path




At first when our group read this story, we had problems with understanding the hole meaning of “ Dead Men’s Path”. It was a bit challenging at first, but we understood further the more we talked about it.

The main theme of the story is mainly about a conflict in one school named Ndume in Nigeria. The main character is Mr.Obi, the new headmaster of Ndume Central School,

he is eager to turn the school into a place of beauty, along with his supporting wife Nancy. His two aims is a high standard of teaching, and that the school compound should be turned into a place of beauty.They both look forward to introducing modern ways to this old-fashioned school, but they soon learned that everyone is not as eager as them.
Obi is scandalized one evening
, when he finds out that the villagers is using a path, that goes right across the school compound
, which Nancy had put a lot of time and effort into creating

The next day Obi tries talking about this, to one of the teachers working there. 
Obi could not understand why they allowed this to happen. The teacher said that the path appeared to be very important to the villagers and that it connected the village shrine with their place of burial. The teacher also said that they had attempted to close this path before, with no luck.
Obi decides to close this path once and for all.
The village priest called on the headmaster later and told that this could not be, their ancestors depended on the path and so on.
Obi would not believe this, the hole purpose of the school was the complete opposite of their believes.  Dead men do not require footpaths, he said.
Obi suggested that they could construct another path somewhere beyond the schools premises. He even suggested help if it was needed.
Two days later a young woman in the village died in childbed, a diviner consulted and prescribed heavy sacrifices to propitiate  ancestors who where insulted by the path no longer to use.
Obi woke up the next day to find ruins of his work. Everything was destroyed, and that very day the white supervisor came to inspect the school. He wrote a nasty report and more seriously about the tribal-war situation developing between the school and the village, which he wrote was the misguided zeal of the new headmasters fault.
What do you think of, when you read this story?
Can you compare this story, with Nigeria’s situation?






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Chinua Achebe

To get things started i would like to show you a picture of Chinua Achebe.

He is one of the most well known authors of Nigeria.
Chinua Achebe has received more than twenty honorary doctorates and several international literary prizes. He is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He has written many poems especially when in 1967 civil war broke out in Nigeria

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Our Project

A little bit about our project. Myself, Frida, Merethe and Helge Ø are all going to write a blog about the story “Dead Men`s Path” by Chinua Achebe.  The story also takes up different problems with local tribes and “the white man”.

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Dead Men`s Path

I wish to welcome you as a reader, and I hope you will enjoy reading our blog.

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