“Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Audacious, outspoken and unapologetically African, this celebrated Nigerian novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer proudly stands tall in a continent where the average woman is perceived as “lower beings,” undeserving of respect.
A graduate of the prestigious Yale University, Chimamanda’s journey into the writing world began at age 24, her first novel ‘Purple Hibiscus’ received critical acclaim and with the release of her second novel Half of a Yellow Sun came even bigger success. The renowned author has been honoured with a couple of international and local awards including MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, otherwise known as “the genius award” (2008). Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is also recognised for her strong feminist views. But just like everybody else, she’s got a fun side to her.
As she turns 39, we bring you 12 facts you should know about her;
She grew up in a house once owned by esteemed writer Chinua Achebe in Nsukka, which influenced her to begin writing.
She loves shopping and eating chocolates.
Chimamanda was once a receptionist at a pediatrician’s office
Okpa (a steam-cooked bean dumpling from eastern Nigeria).
Her style idol: Michelle Obama
She quit medical school in order to nurture her writing.
She was only 24 when she started writing Purple Hibiscus.
Her favourite time to write; late at night when everywhere is quiet
The name of her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun was inspired by the flag of the short-lived Biafran nation.
Camara Laye’s The Dark Child and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
Babette’s Feast, Eve’s Bayou, The Remains of the Day.
The visual album release for Beyoncé’s song, “Flawless,” in 2013, included an excerpt from a talk that Adichie gave at TEDxEuston in December 2012 -entitled “We Should All be Feminists.”