Today, Sunday, July 21, late Nigerian novelist, Buchi Emecheta, got celebrated by Google with its Doodle on her 75th posthumous birthday.
In its tweet acknowledging the late writer’s posthumous birthday, Google wrote;
“Today our #GoogleDoodle celebrates Nigerian author, Florence Onyebuchi Emecheta on what would have been her 75th birthday. Emecheta published 16 novels, including In The Ditch, Second-Class Citizen, and Slave Girl.
Google Doodle is a product of Google that appears temporarily on special occasions, in place of Google’s permanent logo on the homepage.
Though she resisted labelling herself a “feminist” author, the late Nigerian writer, Buchi Emecheta was known for her novels which centered on sexual discrimination and racial prejudice.
Born on this day in 1944, in Lagos, Nigeria, to Igbo parents, Alice (Okwuekwuhe) Emecheta and Jeremy Nwabudinke, Buchi Emecheta was initially kept at home while her younger brother was sent to school. However after persuading her parents to consider the benefits of her education, she spent her early childhood at an all-girl’s missionary school.
She married Sylvester Onwordi, a schoolboy to whom she had been engaged since she was 11 years old and they moved to the U.K in 1962. Her marriage was unhappy and sometimes violent, as chronicled in her autobiographical writings such as Second-Class Citizen. To keep her sanity, Emecheta wrote in her spare time.
However, her husband was deeply suspicious of her writing, and he ultimately burned her first manuscript, as revealed in The Bride Price, eventually published in 1976. That was her first book, but she had to rewrite it after the first version had been destroyed. She later said “There were five years between the two versions.”
At the age of 22, pregnant with her fifth child, Emecheta left her husband. While working to support her children alone, she earned a B.Sc (Hons) degree in Sociology in 1972 from the University of London. In her 1984 autobiography, Head Above Water she wrote: “As for my survival for the past twenty years in England, from when I was a little over twenty, dragging four cold and dripping babies with me and pregnant with a fifth one—that is a miracle.” She went on later to gain her PhD from the university in 1991. Buchi Emecheta suffered a stroke in 2010, and she died in London on 25 January 2017, aged 72.