HISTORY: Flora Nwapa The First African Woman To Publish A Book In the English Language

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Flora Nwanzuruahu Nwapa

The novel writer Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa was a Nigerian author who is called the mother of modern African literature. She was acknowledged as the original African woman to produce a book in English language.

She started her education in Oguta, Port-Harcourt and Lagos. She later attended college education at the Premier University College Ibadan in Oyo State, Nigeria (1953–57) and the University of Edinburgh.

She worked as a teacher and administrator in Nigeria from 1959 until the Biafran civil war broke out in 1967. Immediately after the war, she was made the commissioner for health and social welfare in East Central Region/State. She later started Tana Press/Flora Nwapa Company to help publish African books.

Flora was born into the family of Martha Nwapa and Christopher Ijeoma on January 13, 1931, and from Oguta, which is fondly called Oguta-Ameshi or Ameshi in Imo state. Nwapa died in Enugu of pneumonia on the 16th of October 1993 at the age of 62.

The late Flora Nwapa was known to be a woman who empowered herself and supported her husband and her father. She changed traditional African society through her works. Her popular novels Efuru and Idu challenged the traditional portrayal of the African woman as one who must always live under the shades of men because she is perceived to be docile, submissive and unproductive.

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