Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Just Lost Her Mother

Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie was the first female registrar of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her passing comes eight months after her husband’s.
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Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie. From the Guardian.

Photo Credit: Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie. From the Guardian.

Last June, in the heat of the pandemic, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie lost her father, Professor James Nwoye Adichie, after a brief illness. Not up to eight months afterwards, Mrs Grace Ifeoma Adichie, the novelist’s mother, has passed on, too. She died on 1 March 2021, in Awka, Anambra State, Open Country Mag confirmed from her management. She was 78.

Mrs Grace Ifeoma Adichie’s death was sudden. “It was very sudden and we are devastated,” a source close to the family told the Guardian.

We cannot imagine the devastation.

After the death of her father, Chimamanda mourned him in a reflection in The New Yorker titled “Notes on Grief” (expanded into a forthcoming memoir of chapbook length). “I have come undone,” she wrote. “I have screamed, shouted, rolled on the floor, pounded things. I have shut down parts of myself.”

Mrs. Grace Ifeoma Adichie was the first female registrar of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where her husband taught as Nigeria’s first professor of statistics.

The late couple are survived by Chimamanda and her five siblings: Ijeoma, Uchenna, Chuks, Okechukwu, and Kenechukwu; and nine grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are currently ongoing.

We at Open Country Mag offer our sincerest condolences to Chimamanda and her family.

Ernest Ogunyemi
Ernest Ogunyemi
Ernest O. Ògunyemi is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, Tinderbox, Sierra Nevada Review, Journal Nine, The Indianapolis Review, Down River Road, Capsule Stories, No Tokens, The West Review, The Dark Magazine, Mud Season Review, Isele, and in the anthology 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry III. He is the curator of The Fire That Is Dreamed of: The Young African Poets Anthology.
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