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Literary icon, Elechi Amadi, dies at 82

By The Citizen
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Popular novelist and playwright Dr. Elechi Amadi, best known for his work, The Concubine, is dead at the age of 82.

Amadi who died in Port Harcourt after a protracted illness occasioned by multiple organ failure.

A source close to the family told The Guardian that the arrangement had been concluded the Rivers State government to fly him overseas for medical treatment, but that his ill deteriorated between Monday and yesterday when he passed on in a private clinic in the New Government Reservation Area of Port Harcourt.

The renowned author was born in Aluu community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers state on 12 May 1933 to Daniel Wonuchuku and Enwere (Weke) Amadi. He married Dorah Nwonne Ohale (a midwife), 1957 and they had children.

He studied at the Government College in Umuahia, and like other major Nigerian writers, he was educated at the University College of Ibadan where he obtained a degree in physics and mathematics.

At the University of Ibadan, he contributed to the legendary English Department and the student magazine The Horn , which encouraged a number of aspiring writers, including Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo , John Pepper Clark among others.

In 1957 he married Dorah Ohale; they had eight children. He served in the Nigerian army between 1963-66, as a captain, and rejoined the military in 1968 and served with Marine Commandos during the Civil War.

He worked as government assistant, Calabar, Nigeria, 1953-55; surveyor in Enugu, Nigeria, 1959-60; science teacher in Oba and Ahoada, 1960-63; Asa Grammar School, headmaster, 1966-67; author, 1966-85; administrative office, Port Harcourt, government divisional officer, Ahoada, 1968-69, various other offices held from 1969-90, including commissioner of lands and housing, 1989-90; Rivers State College of Education, various positions.

In 1973 he wrote Sunset in Biafra, his only work of nonfiction, recounts his experiences as a soldier and civilian during the Biafran conflict.

Amadi is best known for his historical trilogy about traditional life in rural Nigeria: The Concubine(1966), The Great Ponds (1969), and The Slave (1978). These novels concern human destiny and the extent to which it can be changed; the relationship between people and their gods is the central issue explored.

He published Isiburu in 1973, about a champion wrestler who is ultimately defeated by the supernatural power of his enemy. Among his other works is Pepper Soup and the Road to Ibadan .

The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside has described Captain Elechi Amadi as a patriot and literary icon who lived a good life.

'Today we mourn the passage of a globally acknowledged literary icon and role model who lived an exemplary life. Captain Elechi Amadi, certainly was a man of many parts who touched lives in many ways. And he will be remembered for good by many people who met him physically or through his books. He was a well known author, publisher, soldier and statesman who was concerned about a better society' he added.