Unravelling the Pride of Femininity Embedded in One Person.
“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness because I deserve to be.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
She is a Jewel, brought out in her rough form and polished by time, experience and seasons.
She refused to dwell on the negative stories; she let them form her into who she is today.
One day she shone, and the world made way for her brightness.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Jewel that was born on the 15th of September, 1977 and she has made the world recognize her relevance as a woman. A statement from her during one of her talks changed my entire view, and this made my desire to be more than just a woman to grow. She mentioned the fact that her family wanted her to adopt her husband’s surname, as it is the culture when a woman gets married. But she was able to convince them that she would not do that, as she had made a name for herself and would not change it. She wouldn’t like to be called Mrs but prefers Ms. This made me realize that though I am a Nigerian woman, I can have my will and desires regardless of what anyone thinks.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer & author, speaker, activist and feminist. She is one of the most prominent African Literature faces today. Many Nigerian Youths went through her books in school and it has inspired many women to want to do more by listening to her. She has used her writing to deliver her beliefs and grounds to the world.
“Never ever accept ‘Because You Are A Woman’ as a reason for doing or not doing anything”… Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
As much as feminism is despised in Africa, she represents strength as a feminist. She has affirmed that she wants women to know what they are capable of and stop being held down by gender roles. Many people disagree with her, but she notes that this is the 21st century and people no longer need physical power to thrive and survive in society. As survival in today’s world depends on one’s creativity, hence women should not give up this opportunity. She makes women believe they can be breadwinners too and they do not have to wait for their husbands to do certain responsibilities.
She is a supporter of the LGBT community and even though she is from a country that has passed the anti-homosexuality bill; she took it upon herself to stand against the bill stating that Nigeria has real problems that should be the focus, but they are abandoned and the government is focusing on events that are unconstitutional.
The major influences of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing are Chinua Achebe and Buchi Emecheta. A fun fact to note is that the house she grew up in as a child was Chinua Achebe’s. Her Literature is read not only in Nigeria but in many countries around the world and she has won awards such as the O. Henry Award in 2003, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2005 and so many other awards. She draws most of her writings from the experience during the Biafra war, which affected her family.
Her most read books are “Purple Hibiscus”, “Half of a Yellow Sun”, “Americana” and “For the Love of Biafra”.
She studied medicine for a year at Nsukka Nigeria, but she got a scholarship at 19 and this made her move to the United States, where she earned a B.A. in Communication and Political Science and also she studied African History at Yale University.
Apart from her fiction works, she has also written non-fiction such as “We Should All Be Feminists”, “Dear Ijeawele” which teaches women how to raise their daughters as feminists and “Notes on Grief” which she used to mourn Chinua Achebe. Some excerpts from her non-fiction work “We should all be Feminists” were adapted in Beyonce’s song, “Flawless”.
Her position today does not make her shy away from her fashionista tastes. She dresses in ways that make her comfortable and she often recounts regretting the day she went to take a lecture and favoured more masculine wear over her normal shiny female wears. She admonishes women to throw away their pretence and be themselves by also letting it reflect in their dressing.
Contrary to the Nigerian belief that a very successful woman will not attract men and would be unable to marry, she is happily married to a Nigerian Medical Doctor based in the US and has a beautiful daughter.
In 2011, Forbes featured her in the 20 Youngest Power Women. She is very passionate about the economic situation of Nigeria and this made her start the “Wear Nigerian Campaign”, as she decided to only wear Nigerian made clothes to boost the country’s economy.
Every year she hosts the Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop also known as the Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Trust in Lagos, where she teaches young writers how to improve their writing skills.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will always make sure to remind the world that there is a reigning gender problem that must be fixed. She believes every woman has a potential that should be harnessed, should not be left dormant and should not be abandoned for any man. For every woman is just as human as any man out there!
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.
We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man.
Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage.
I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important.”…Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Written By: Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu (Writer, Social media manager and graphic designer with Africa4AfricaWomen/Assert/PAWES).