Grand send-off planned for Chinua Achebe By FUNKE OSAE-BROWN in Lagos | Tuesday, April 23   2013 at  09:47

The late novelist Chinua Achebe. PHOTO | FILE 

An international cast of Nobel laureates and other luminaries has been incorporated into a committee preparing for the grand burial in May of Africa’s pioneering man of letters, the late Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe.

The names include Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Literature laureates Nadine Gordimer of South Africa and Toni Morrison of the US, a former President of Brown University in the US, Ruth Simmons, and former President of Spellman College in Atlanta, US, Johnetta B. Cole.

Numerous other Nigeria-based committees have been set up to lay ground for a befitting send-off for the continent’s most famous writer, who died in Boston on March 21 aged 82.

The burial will be on May 23 in Achebe’s hometown of Ogidi, Anambra state, in eastern Nigeria.

His two sons, Ike and Chidi, said their father will be buried in a Christian way.

In addition, a memorial service to celebrate Achebe’s life has been scheduled for June 2 in Washington DC .

Until his death, Achebe was the David and Mariana Fisher University Professor of African Studies and Literary Arts at Brown University.