“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture’’ – Chimamanda Adichie
Meet our 2nd Extraordinary voice: the awe-inspiring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Chimamanda Adichie is a Nigerian author; writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction. She was born on September 15th, 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, and attended Drexet University in Philadelphia on scholarship where she earned a degree in communication and political science. She is a feminist, at the forefront of women activism.
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When the name Chimamanda is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is her ever famous line “we should all be feminists”. Today we get to look at what makes her extraordinary!
CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE THE GREAT STORY TELLER
A lot of people actually forget that Chimamanda is first and foremost a writer. I even know someone who doesn’t know a single book written by her.
Adichie is a great novelist, and also has a number of captivating short stories and essays to her credit. Who can forget the way she portrayed the love shared between ifemelu and Obinna in Americanah, or the fact her TED Talk ‘We Should all be feminists captures astutely the topic of feminism. Let’s not forget how the phrase itself went on to get the attention of Beyonce and has gained so much popularity to become a fashion statement on dresses.
Speaking of internationally acclaimed works, Mrs. Adichie’s writings tend to take a solutions approach to Cultural issues. Her famous book half of a yellow sun also adapted for movie tells the story of the Biafran War, the political climate in Nigeria at the time and the traumatic consequence of war on the igbos.
My personal favourite (I am sure you can tell) is Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions which is a letter from Chimamanda to her friend on how to raise a feminist daughter. These are to mention but a few of her solutions approach through writing to cultural issues.
A ROLE MODEL AND LEADER
When we consider leaders, we consider Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as one. Here is a woman who is a model of outstanding leadership; changing narratives, initiating movements, and most importantly striving for relevance. She models to me, and other women; attaining your full potential unapologetically. An interesting fact that some people are not aware of is that; she was enrolled at medical school, but eventually dropped out to pursue her passion in writing. There is a lesson to learn from her; which is to always follow your passion, do what you love and watch yourself excel at it.
It is also imperative to highlight her impressive poise, grace, articulation and fluency. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is not scared to express her opinion. One lesson to learn from Chimamanda is to BE BOLD and Stand up for what you believe in. Chimamanda Adichie believes in her African culture and is not ashamed of expressing it.
A recent show of her loyalty to Africa was during an interview in France at a global ideas hosted by the French government. The interviewer asked a question that implied that Africans were not literate. The french interviewer shockingly asked if there were bookshops in Nigeria, and Chimamanda in her reply stood up not just for Nigeria but for the African Continent.
“I think it reflects poorly on French people that you have to ask me that question”. She said. “You’ll be shocked to know that they are, yes… They are read and studied, not just in Nigeria but across the continent of Africa”.
SHE SAYS WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS
People often portray Chimamanda Adichie as a misandrist; someone who encourages women to hate men, as a result of her feminism. However, in being a feminist, she is asking that women be treated in their full humanity. She kicks against gender-defining roles. and advocates that economically, politically and socially, are given equal opportunities for self-development. During her ‘We Should All be Feminists Essay she reminds us of the glaring meaning of feminist “A person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes” – not necessarily a woman.
Chimamanda Adichie is one of the 30 Extraordinary Voices featured in the Women’s Month Series by AWLO. Click on your favorite social media button below to share if you have been inspired by