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From Achebe to Adichie: Top ten Igbo writers, who helped sell Igbo culture to the world

There are many Igbo writers out there. We present to you in this article the top ten who help sell Igbo culture to the world – starting from Chinua Achebe.

Chinua Achebe 


He was an Igbo man, born on 16th November 1930 in Ogidi, Nigeria, and died on 21st March 2013. He was a well-known writer not only in Africa – especially Nigeria – but also across the globe.

Between 2004 and 2011, the federal government of Nigeria tried to make him Commander of the Federal Republic, but he refused because he was against the political administration of the country. His first novel was “Things Fall Apart” which he wrote in 1958. It has been translated into 50 languages and has sold 10m copies.

In the novel, he portrayed the conflict between Igbo tradition and the colonization of the Europeans. He portrayed Igbo culture well in most of his writings.

Cyprian Ekwensi

This was another Igbo notable writer who was born September 26, 1921, and died November 4, 2007. His major works were novels, short stories, and children’s books. In his works like “When love whispers, African Night’s Entertainment, The drummer boy, et Cetra, he portrayed Igbo culture with storytelling.

Ben Okri


Ben Okri is of Igbo parentage (from Igbo mother). He was born on March 15, 1959 in Minna, Nigeria. He is a novelist and poet. He writes mostly about the spirit world, hence, people see his work as magical realism which he rebuts because his work is based on one who grew up where ancestors, spirits, and myths were so much recognized. The work that announced him most is “The Famished Road” published in 1991. In this book of his, he portrayed Igbo culture and their belief.

Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa


This was another Igbo writer that lived between January 13, 1931 to 16 October 1993. She was the first African woman whose work was in print in the English Language in Britain. Her first novel, Efuru, published in 1966 awarded her international recognition. She mainly recreated Igbo traditions and life in her writings. In 1970, she founded Tana Press and devoted her time to working with orphans and refugees after the Biafran war.

Buchi Emecheta


She is a female writer born in Lagos on July 21, 1944, and later moved to London in 1960 to join her husband. She did not have a smooth marriage and was forced to settle as a single mother as a result of her husband’s violent nature. Most of her novels were about her personal life. She was given OBE award in 2005 and she concentrates on the gender imbalance and enslavement of women. The work that announced her most is “The Joy of Motherhood” which was written in 1979.

Tony Ubesie


Tony lived between February 22, 1950 and February 11, 1994. He was an Igbo Novelist, Poet, Broadcaster, Playwright and Actor. He was among the first people to start Igbo literature. He wrote most of his novels in the Igbo language promoting the culture and language of Africans. His publications include Ukwa Rue Oge Ya O Daa, Isi Akwu Dara Na Ala, and Mmiri Oku Eji Egbu Mbe.

Ifeoma Onyefulu


She is a female Igbo writer who majors more in children’s books. She was born in Onitsha in 1959 but lives in the United Kingdom with her family. She portrays her story through picture books that centre on Africa’s village life. Her works include Emeka’s Gift, Ogbo, Chidi only likes blue, et cetera. She has won the award of Children’s Africana Book twice.

Christopher Abani


He was born on December 27, 1966. He is an author, professor, and poet. He writes about the experience of those that found themselves raised in a distressed African nation. He tries to translate this in such a way that English-speaking listeners can fathom. He has written a couple of novels including: Masters of the board, Graceland, Virgin of flames and Secret history of Las Vegas. His writings earned him many awards.

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani


She is a Nigerian writer born in Enugu in 1976. She is Journalist, Essayist and Novelist. She started writing at an early age and won her first writing prize at the age of 13. Her first novel is “I do not come to you by chance” published in 2010. In it, she addressed the notion of 419 which some people had believed to be the major act of Nigeria. She tactically worked on this angle to produce a very interesting family story.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Enugu on 15th of September, 1977. She is widely known for writing novels and short stories. She has earned many awards for her writings which deal with the political impression of her native land. Her book “Purple Hibiscus” was published in 2003 and earned her the winner of the Common Wealth Writer’s Prize. She also has other novels at her stable.

Chinonye Ikebaku

This article was written by Chinonye Ikebuaku.