It is still International Women’s month. Our crush today is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- a writer and speaker who has used her words to stir conversations, and inspire thousands of people, especially women around the world.
Chimamanda was born in Enugu, she grew up in the University of Nsukka Campus. She is the fifth of six children.
Chimamanda started out in medical school but she quickly realized medicine was not for her. She moved to the United States at the age of 19 to pursue her writing career. In the US, Chimamanda studied communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, she later transferred to Eastern Connecticut University where she graduated Summa cum laude in 2001.
In 2003, she got a master’s degree in creative writing at John Hopkins University, and then another Master’s degree in African studies from Yale University. Chimamanda was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University, a MacArthur Fellow. She was also awarded a fellowship by the Harvard University.
Her first book, Purple Hibsicus which was published in 2003, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2004 and awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (2005)
Her second Book Half of A Yellow Sun won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
Chimamanda has a collection of short stories- The Thing Around Your Neck which explores the relationship between parents and children, and Nigerian immigrants in the US.
Americanah, her third novel was published in 2013. It was picked as the winner for the “One Book, One New York” program.
Apart from writing, Chimamanda has given some really outstanding speeches. Her TED Talks- the danger of a single story and we should all be feminist have been viewed millions of times. A part of We Should All Be Feminist was sampled by Beyonce in her Flawless.
Adichie divides her time between Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops, and the United States. In 2016 she was conferred an honorary degree – Doctor of Humane letters, by Johns Hopkins University. In 2017 she was conferred two honorary degrees – Doctor of Humane letters, by Haverford College and The University of Edinburgh. Duke University will be awarding her another honorary degree in May 2018 for her outstanding work. Go Chimamanda!
P.S You should follow her Instagram account where she showcases her Nigerian made clothes.