Flora-Nwapa (1)

FLORA NWAPA THE FIRST NIGERIAN WOMAN WRITER AND THE FIRST AFRICAN WOMAN TO PUBLISH A NOVEL

Flora-Nwapa (1)

Professor Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa (13 January 1931 – 16 October 1993) known to her native Nigerian ndi-Igbo people as Ogbuefi Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa-Nwakuche  and the world as Flora Nwapa was a great Nigerian writer (novelist), teacher, administrator, and a forerunner of a whole generation of African women writers. Flora Nwapa is best-known for re-creating Igbo life and traditions from a woman's viewpoint. With Efuru (1966) Nwapa became black Africa's first internationally published female novelist in the English language. She has been called the mother of modern African literature. Flora Nwapa described Flora in “Women and Creative Writing in Africa” about how she came to write Efuru that she enjoyed direct contact with
her culture and tradition and Efuru was actually based on her early exposure to folklore which was a direct personal contact with Oguta Lake which was near her birth place. She writes:
"…the story of Efuru struck me in a most dramatic
way as I was driving at a speed of 80 miles per
hour along Enugu-Onitsha Road. I got to my
destination, borrowed an exercise book and began
to write Efuru’s story. I wrote chapter one … and
did not stop until I finished the entire novel.(526)
She was a contemporary of the legendary Ghanaian playwright Dr Efua Theodora Sutherland (27 June 1924—2 January 1996) who published her first literary work 'Foriwa' (1962), and others such as Edufa (1967), and The Marriage of Anansewa (1975).
She also is known for her governmental work in reconstruction after the Biafran War. In particular she worked with orphans and refugees that where displaced during the war. Further she worked as a publisher of African literature and promoted women in African society.
What is not known, however, is that by putting the children of of Ogbuide into print, Nwapa who is also a poet, short story writer, and children's author was able to tell her own story, and release her own anxieties and feelings of disenchantment with a society that :destroys its gifted females." Flora Nwapa`s women -centered text evolve from the myth of Ogbuide - the female deity of Oguta people- who symbolizes beauty, wealth, power, and self-fulfillment for her children, especially the women.

 

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