COINCIDENCES: Chinua Achebe, Mark Twain, the Comet and the Equinox

Posted by Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth | 10 April 2013 | 4,017 times

Gmail icon

Chinua Achebe was a globally acclaimed writer, with his works having been translated into about 50 languages; so people around the world are bound to attach significance to his birth as well as his passage.

Chinua Achebe was born November 16, 1930, which coincided with what astronomers know as the peak of the Leonid showers, which are associated with the Comet Tempel-Tuttle.

Just as Mark Twain wrote the Great American Novel, Chinua Achebe wrote the Great African Novel. Twain was born at in the year of the return of the Halley’s Comet and he predicted that he would pass away on the Next Return and his prediction came to pass. Like Mark Twain, Chinua Achebe died on the 21st day of the month. Twain died in April.

Achebe “chose” to a pass to the great beyond on March 21 2013 which is on a day after the Spring Equinox or what the astronomers know as the Vernal Equinox.

The equinox happens when the length of the day equals the length of the night. This occurred this year on March 20.

Following this the length of the day becomes longer than the length of night. This increase in the length of the day is taken by many cultures and religions around the world as the triumph of light over darkness.

It’s almost like Wole Soyinka, a contemporary of Achebe, anticipated the death of Achebe with the title of his book Harmattan Haze on an African Spring.

Spring symbolises, in many cultures, rebirth and resurrection. With his death, Chinua Achebe has left an even more powerful message. We have had the great African Novel. Wither the African Spring?

COINCIDENCES is a weekly column that appears on Wednesdays. The columnist, Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth, is based in England, Britain, but can be reached via e-mail through or

Source: News Express

Readers Comments

0 comment(s)

No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.

You may also like...