Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author who writes short stories and non-fiction. She was born on 15 September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria. Her father worked at the University of Nigeria. He was Nigeria’s first professor of statistics, and later became Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Her mother was the first female registrar at the same institution. Chimamanda completed her secondary education at the University’s school, receiving several academic prizes. She went on to study medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the University’s Catholic medical students. At nineteen Chimamanda left Nigeria for the United States. She gained a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She also wrote articles for the university journal, the Campus Lantern. She then completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
During her senior year at Eastern she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus. Chimamanda was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year, and earned an MA in African Studies from Yale University in 2008; her thesis was entitled ‘The Myth of “Culture”: Sketching the History of Igbo Women in Precolonial and Colonial Nigeria’. In 2011-2012, she was awarded a fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, which allowed her to finalize her third novel, Americanah.
Chimamanda is now married and has a daughter. She divides her time between Nigeria, where she regularly teaches writing workshops, and the United States. she has now contributed a refreshing voice to African literature and advocates for feminist issues.
You may also recognize her voice from Beyonce’s “Flawless”.
“Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”
–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We have attached her Ted Talks and they are a must watch!