Cyprian Ekwensi

Cyprian Ekwensi, MFR (September 26, 1921–November 4, 2007) was a short story writer and author of children's books.

Ekwensi, was born in Minna, Niger State. He attended Government College in Ibadan, Oyo State, Achimota College in Ghana, and the School of Forestry, Ibadan, after which he worked for two years as a forestry officer. He also studied pharmacy at Yaba Technical Institute, Lagos School of Pharmacy, and the Chelsea School of Pharmacy of the University of London.

Ekwensi wrote hundreds of short stories, radio and television scripts, and several dozen novels, including children's books. His 1954 People of the City was the first book by a Nigerian to garner international attention. His most successful novel was Jagua Nana (1961), about a Pidgin-speaking Nigerian woman who leaves her husband to work as a prostitute in a city and falls in love with a teacher. He also wrote a sequel to this, Jagua Nana's Daughter.

In 1968, he received the Dag Hammarskjöld International Prize in Literature. In 2006, he became a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters.

Ekwensi died on 4 November 2007 at the Niger Foundation in Enugu, where he underwent an operation for an undisclosed ailment.

Jagua Nana (African Writers)
The Drummer Boy
Burning Grass (African Writers Series)


nneoma said…
did not realize that he died so recently. his was my first introduction to nigerian poetry.
Comb & Razor said…
One of the greatest... He really doesn't get his due because he wasn't considered a "serious" writer a la Achebe or Soyinka.

Glad to see you giving him props here!

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