It’s Flora Nwapa’s 86th birthday and we found a Google Doodle that is befitting of her literary superpower! The doodle shows her in a literary plantation, and indeed she has represented a woman who has planted and made to flourish, literary seeds in the hearts of many, including us.
Born in January 1931 and leaving this planet on October 16, 1993, Flora Nwapa is known as the mother of modern African literature and forerunner to a generation of African women writers. Even though she refused to adopt the term ‘Feminist’, her work showed customs and tradition from a Woman’s perspective. Her book Efuru, is an important landmark for Female writers. It is about an Igbo woman who lives in a small village in colonial West Africa. Throughout the story, Efuru wishes to be a mother, though she is an independent-minded woman and respected for her trading ability. Efuru has been described as a Feminist literary work.
Flora Nwapa is the first African woman novelist to be published in the English language in Britain.
In an interview, Flora Nwapa exclaimed that she didn’t think she’d become a writer – “There was nothing in me when I was in school that made me feel I was going to be a writer. It was one of those things that just happened. I didn’t have the ambition to say, “Oh, Flora, you are going to be a writer, so work towards it.”
Today, we raise our glasses to this light of a woman who opened the path to many.