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chexofthechexes

03/29/2024, 7:52 AM
_ Achebe, who went to university in Ibadan, a Yoruba-speaking region of Nigeria, had to conduct his affairs there in English. If you wanted to be read by people beyond your own ethnic group, or if you harboured any ambition to be read in other English-speaking African countries, you had to write in English. It is therefore not surprising that Achebe wrote his books in English. His English is clearly mixed with and heavily influenced by Igbo (you would appreciate this better if you spoke Igbo or some other Nigerian language), but I don't think he could have written with the same flourish in Igbo, although his spoken Igbo was excellent. Writing is a different skill than speaking. For one thing, standardised Igbo writing system was still young at that time. For another, most rural non-English-educated Igbo people of that time (who were in the majority) could not read Igbo either, as it was written in the Latin script, a foreign script.