Popular Nigerian writer Dilibe Onyeama dies at 71

Dilibe Onyeama

Dilibe Onyeama, Nigerian writer, publisher and author (Photo credit: The Guardian)

By Nehru Odeh

Dilibe Onyeama, Nigerian writer, publisher and author of the controversial novel, Nigger at Eton, is dead. He died on Thursday 10 November after suffering a fatal heart attack.

Onyeama, the son of Charles Onyeama, justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and judge at the international Court of Justice became the first black boy to be registered to attend Eton College on the day of his birth on 6 January 1951.

He later attended preparatory school at Grove Park in Sussex, before becoming a pupil at Eton in 1965, and leaving in 1969. On entering Eton, he became the second black boy ever to be a pupil at the prestigious school.

His novel, Nigger at Eton, which he wrote as a teenager, and published by Leslie Feewin Limited in 1972, is about his experiences of racist discrimination and bullying at the elite British boarding school.

Related News

The book resulted in his being banned from visiting the school by then-headmaster Michael McCrum.

The novel was later republished by Penguin in 2022 with the title A Black Boy At Eton.

In 2020 the school’s present headmaster, Simon Henderson, offered Onyeama an apology for the treatment he had received. Onyeama said he would return to Eton to accept the apology as long as the costs of his trip were covered.

Onyeama’s books include Nigger at Eton ((republished as A Black Boy At Eton in 2020), Revenge Of The Medicine Man, Secret Society, Chief Onyeama; The Story of an African God, The Return: Homecoming of a Negro from Eton and Godfathers of Voodoo.

Load more