Dear Buchi

I hear Buchi is dead, I cannot understand it. How can she die when I have not met her and told her all the things she means to me? How can she depart when I haven’t told her how reading The Slave Girl at eight made me want to build worlds with stories, just like Buchi and fall in love with Ibuzo, just as she told me to.

 

How can she join her ancestors when I haven’t berated her for letting Akunna die, for the tears I shed for her, my heart breaking even though my head said she‘s just a product of ink and paper.

 

Or how I struggled with a rage I couldn’t have understood when Francis burnt Ada’s manuscript, I was only eleven and had never written a book but I knew it had to be one of the most fucked up things a man can do. And when a certain brilliant, handsome man ‘jokingly” told me he’d break my laptop if I let my writing get in the way of giving him attention, I grabbed my bag and hailed a cab. His number is still blocked and he’s given up trying to reach me

 


Buchi, I haven’t told you how you and your stories have shaped the woman I have become and this writing that is more frustrated perspiration than flights of inspiration.


Perhaps you think I am selfish, thinking only of myself and the loss of a dream I have had since I was eight, but Buchi I do not care. Tomorrow I will wish you a safe voyage to the place where having a vagina does not make you a second class citizen, but tonight, I will revel in rage.
Rest in Peace Buchi Emecheta.

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12 Comments

  1. I don’t know why I want to start crying right now, you know her books made me cry when I was a kid. I cried and cried after joys of motherhood and now your writeup’s so emotional I’m almost crying at work. I love you Buchi, you taught me a lot even with mere stories

    Reply

  2. Yeah. She did suffer mega. I think that’s why I was impressed with the writing and plot. I had the mentality that all or most African books end on a good note singing kumbaya. But reading Joys of motherhood was different. She wasn’t “afraid to suffer” her heroine. For that I like it.

    Will look out for other books by her.
    Any recommendations?

    Reply

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