Between Achebe And Soyinka, Who Is The Greatest?

By Ikenga Chronicles October 3, 2018

Between Achebe And Soyinka, Who Is The Greatest?

—Nwafor Ifeanyi,

No doubt, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka are the greatest in African literature. The contributions of both icons helped to advanced African art and literature.

Over the years, Nigerians and indeed Africans have been sharply divided as to who is the best among the two – Achebe or Soyinka?.

Great analyst and pundits made futile efforts to arrive at a conclusion as to who among the two should be the best but they have always failed in their efforts. The reason it will be difficult to do so is because both Achebe and Soyinka played actively in different genres of literature.

Chinua Achebe regarded as the father of Modern African literature was a great Nigerian novelist, he was known for his first novel, “Things Fall Apart” (1958) which is the most widely read novel that gained worldwide attention. Achebe is one of the best African novelists who contributed a lot in the field of African literature.

Wole Soyinka is a great Nigerian dramatist, his most famous book is “Death And The King’s Horsemen.” And he has contributed a lot in the field of African literature as well.

Achebe was called the father of modern African literature, because “A Man Of The People” by Achebe is a prophetic novel that reveals the future of Nigerian politics. A great American novelist, Margaret Atwood called Achebe “A magical writer” that carried readers along in his novel “Things Fall Apart”.

“Things Fall Apart” is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe’s critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa’s cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man’s futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political and religious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.

Translated into fifty-seven languages, Things Fall Apart provides one of the most illuminating and permanent monuments to African experience. Achebe does not only capture life in a pre-colonial African village, he conveys the tragedy of the loss of that world while broadening our understanding of our contemporary realities.

However, Achebe wrote 78 books while Soyinka has written 106 books.
Achebe and Soyinka are great talented writers in African literature no doubt. Achebe was a good story teller in prose while Soyinka is very good at play and poem (Drama & Poetry). Achebe was a good novelist, (prose). Soyinka is a good playwright (drama).

Both of them are good writers in different genres of literature but in term of novel, Chinua Achebe was better than Wole Soyinka. And in term of play and poem, Soyinka is better than Achebe.

Nwafor Ifeanyi
Director Of Information