Excellence , consistency, hardwork and determination they say is the price you have to pay for greatness. Being great is not just about being famous and rich but positively impacting and influencing the lives of those around you. This is the lifestyle of a young woman who in all her endeavours has paid the price not just to be great but to positively influence and impact her society most especially the woman gender. Her name is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Born in the city of Enugu on the 15th of September 1977, Adichie grew up the fifth of six children in an Igbo family in the university town of Nsukka, Enugu State. While she was growing up, her father, James Nwoye Adichie, was a professor of statistics at the university, and her mother, Grace Ifeoma, was the university’s first female registrar.
Adichie studied 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 the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia.She received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut state university with the distinction of summa cum laude in 2001. In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in
creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.
As a result of her commendable work and exceptionality, Adichie was honoured as a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005–06 academic year. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She was also awarded a 2011–12 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study , Harvard University. She was conferred an honorary degree – Doctor of Humane letters,
honoris causa , by Johns Hopkins University. In 2017 she was conferred an honorary degree – Doctor of Humane letters, honoris causa , by Haverford College .
We can’t but talk about her writing collections as it has expressed nothing short of brilliance and Excellence. Adichie published a collection of poems in 1997 ( Decisions ) and a play (For Love of Biafra) in 1998. She was shortlisted in 2002 for the Caine Prize for her short story “You in America”.
In 2003, her story “That Harmattan Morning” was selected as a joint winner of the BBC Short Story Awards, and she won the O. Henry prize for “The American Embassy”. She also won the David T. Wong International Short Story Prize 2002/2003 (PEN Center Award).
Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus published in 2003 received wide critical acclaim as it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2004 and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in 2005. She also wrote her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun in 2006 which received the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The book was adapted into a film of the same title directed by Biyi Bandele , starring BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and BAFTA award-winner Thandie Newton. Her third book, The Thing Around Your Neck published in 2009 is a collection of 12 stories that explore the relationships between men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States. Her 2013 novel Americanah is an exploration of a young Nigerian encountering race in America, was selected by the New York Times as one of The 10 Best Books of 2013.
In April 2014, she was named as one of 39 writers aged under 40 in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project Africa39 , celebrating Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014.
In 2015, she was co-curator of the PEN World Voices Festival. In a 2014 interview, Adichie said on feminism and writing, “I think of myself as a storyteller, but I would not mind at all if someone were to think of me as a feminist writer… I’m very feminist in the way I look at the world, and that world view must somehow be part of my work.
In March 2017, Americanah was picked as the winner for the “One Book, One New York” program, part of a community reading initiative encouraging all city residents to read the same book .
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has recently been elected into the 237th class of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the highest honours for intellectuals in the United States. BBC reports that the author will be one of 228 new members to be inducted on the 7th of October, 2017. Her most recent book was published in March 2017 titled Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.
Recently, she was invited to Bard College, an impressive liberal arts institution, as the first Nigerian to be presented with the Mary McCarthy Award for her excellence and brilliance when it comes to novel writing and her exceptional and iconic disposition towards life. The Mary McCarthy Prize in short fiction includes a cash award, publication of a collection of short stories, standard royalty contract and a short novel or novella. The award was named after famous novelist Mary McCarthy who taught at Bard for a year, and was given acknowledgement of engagement in the public sphere by an intellectual, artist, or writer. Some other notable recipients of the award are Margaret Atwood (the author of The Handmaid’s Tale ), Zadie Smith, Mona Simpson, and Susan Sontag.
Amongst other things , the classy Adichie is also a powerful orator and mind blowing speaker. She has also been seen speaking and attending various conferences as a result of her passion about changing the world and giving the African woman their rightful place and has through that become a global shaper. One of such is ” The Danger of a Single story” a speech she delivered at a TEDx talkshow.
Adichie is a woman known for her Focus and determination to be a trail blazer. She believes in values such as diligence, consistency, integrity, creativity, excellence and credibility. She in all her endeavors shows a positive mentality, resilience, enthusiasm, resourcefulness and Brilliance.
The Nigerian Woman Diary Celebrates Chimamanda for being a voice to the African Woman. An Icon and Inspiration to the woman gender, we commend her for her hard work, brilliance, diligence and her immeasurable contribution not just to Nigeria as a nation but to the entirely African Woman.