By Segun Ajayi
LITERARY icon and author of the popular novel, The Concubine, Elechi Amadi is dead.
The renowned playwright and poet died at 82.
A family source said Amadi died in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday evening, during a brief illness.
Born on May 12, 1934 in Aluu, near Port Harcourt, Amadi was best known for works which explored the role of the supernatural in Nigerian village life.
He retired to his village in Aluu, after serving as chairman of Rivers State Scholarship Board during the regime of immediate past Rivers governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
Amadi was one of Nigeria’s first generation of writers in English and alongside, Professor Wole Soyinka. The late Prof. Chinua Achebe, John Pepper Clarke, among others, founded the Association of Nigerian Writers (ANA) in 1982.
He was also instrumental to the cultural movement that swept through the garden city and environs in the immediate post-independence era. His novel, The Concubine has been adapted to stage and film at different times.
An Ikwere by tribe, Amadi was educated at Government College, Umuahia, and University College, Ibadan where he read Physics and Mathematics. He served in the Nigerian army, taught, and worked for the Ministry of Information. Sunset in Biafra (1973), his only work of nonfiction, recounts his experiences as a soldier and civilian during the Biafran conflict.