Buchi Emecheta

Buchi Emecheta Biography / Profile

Florence Onyebuchi Emecheta (populaly known as Buchi Emecheta) was born by Igbo parents Jeremy Nwabudike and Alice Ogbanje on July 21st, 1944 in Yaba Lagos, Nigeria. Her parents hailed from Ibusa in Oshimili North local government area of Delta State.

Buchi Emecheta Age

Buchi Emecheta would have been 79 years old, if she were alive today. May her soul rest in peace.

Buchi Emecheta Early Life

Although young Buchi was a brilliant child while in school, she did not have a smooth life as a child. Due to the gender bias of the time, she was initially kept at home while her younger brother was sent to school. Later, she spent her early childhood at the All Girl's Missionary School, but her brilliance and intelligence won her scholarship to the then prestigious Methodist Girl’s High School at the age of 10 and she was engaged at the age of eleven. However, after her father was killed as a soldier in the British army in Burma, things began to fall apart for Buchi and the family. She was married at age 16 and immigrated with her husband to London in 1962.

Buchi Emecheta Career

After bearing two children in Nigeria, Buchi moved to London to join her husband who had gone there to study Accounting. Things were more difficult for her in London. She later opted out of the marriage to save herself from the ceaseless battering from her husband. But in spite of her marital challenges, Buchi proved a strong woman when she worked hard and earned herself an Honours Degree in Sociology. In this way, she was able to work as a social worker in London while she single-handedly fended for her five children. Rather than being drowned by the challenges before her, Buchi saw freedom and self-expression in writing as she began to write to complement her job so as to enable her to adequately support her family. She wrote very early in the morning every day before she went to work. Little wonder then that most of Buchi’s writings are based on her personal experiences. 

Buchi began writing stories based on her life, including the problems she initially encountered in England. These works were first published in New Statesman magazine and were later collected in the novel In the Ditch (1972). That work was followed by Second-Class Citizen (1974), and both were later included in the single volume Adah’s Story (1983). Those books introduce Emecheta’s three major themes: the quests for equal treatment, self-confidence, and dignity as a woman. Somewhat different in style is Emecheta’s novel Gwendolen (1989; also published as The Family), which addresses the issues of immigrant life in Great Britain, as do Kehinde (1994) and The New Tribe (2000).

Most of Buchi’s other novels—including The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977), The Joys of Motherhood (1979), Destination Biafra (1982), and Double Yoke (1982)—are realistic works of fiction set in Nigeria. Perhaps her strongest work, The Rape of Shavi (1983), is also the most difficult to categorize. Set in an imaginary idyllic African kingdom, it explores the dislocations that occur when a plane carrying Europeans seeking to escape an imminent nuclear disaster crashes.

Buchi also authored several novels for children, including Nowhere to Play (1980) and The Moonlight Bride (1980). She published a volume of autobiography, Head Above Water, in 1986. Her television play, A Kind of Marriage, was first screened by the BBC in 1976. In 1983 she was selected as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Writers' by the Book Marketing Council. 

From 1972 to 1982, She  served as a visiting lecturer and professor at universities in the United States, England and Nigeria. Shortly thereafter, she and her journalist son founded a publishing company in London and Nigeria, named Ogwugwu Afor. Since 1979 Emecheta has also served on numerous British committees as a respected voice for arts, integrationist, and women’s issues, although she rejects the feminist label. She achieved a PhD in social education in 1991. She ran the Ogwugwu Afor Publishing Company with her son and was  a member of the Home Secretary's Advisory Council on Race. She was a member of the Arts Council from 1982 to 1983, and was a regular contributor to the New Statesman, the Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian.

Buchi Emecheta Personal Life

By the age of 11, Buchi had met Sylvester Onwordi, a student who five years later became her husband. In 1960, her first child, a daughter, was born and in 1961 a son. Her autobiographical writings chronicle the unhappiness of her marriage. In Second-Class Citizen, Adah – Emecheta’s alter ego – challenged by atrocious living conditions and a violent husband, finds refuge in her dream of becoming a writer. She had six children and died in London, England on January 25th, 2017.

Buchi Emecheta Awards

Buchi was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005. She eon several other awards including Jock Campbell Award from the New Statesman in 1979, New Statesman Jock Campbell Award for The Slave Girl in 1979, and One of Granta′s "Best of the Young British Novelists" in 1983, among others,

Buchi Emecheta Net Worth

Her net worth is not available.

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