Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A Phenomenal Writer of Truth

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Africa is a bag engulfed with numerous talents, but these gifts do not posses a global look and accreditation because of numerous concepts of discrimination from the western world and the lessed developed continent itself. Modernization has assuaged the youth’s zest to read due to its provision of countless forms of entertainment other than the books found in the library. A young lady has played her role into solving this problem by writing on issues that threaten the stability of the global world. These issues are threatening because they create divisions, negative tags and unwanted sections. Most importantly, they are deadly because they kill talents and  hopes for the materialisation of a better future. These issues are Racism and Misogyny. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a gem. I call her the voice of the intelligent who do not have the talent to write and speak to convince many at gatherings like the TEDx talk. Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) and Americanah (2013) are her novels so far. Calling a “lizard a lizard and not a crocodile’s child” is a trait in her and that evidence can be found in her works of literature. Chimamanda’s voice is so influential that Beyonce incorporated it into the single ***Flawless from her 5th studio album BEYONCE. At 37, her works can create a positive change in the world if and only if the youth pay attention to that. She has lived up her middle name “Ngozi” for she has been a “blessing” to literature. Her works earned her the MacArthur Genius Grant of $500,000. The Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (2007), MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2008), Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, MacArthur Fellowship, Anisfield-Wolf
Book Awards and the Beyond Margins Award are a few of her numerous awards and achievements.

Quotes From Chimamanda In Relation to Feminism

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The higher you go, the fewer women there are,” This has sometimes created an atmosphere where women shy away from telling their own success stories:There are so many women like that, we have to be apologetic, tone it down and the sad thing is, it’s not because men are bad. It’s a horrible structure that we are in, but we can change it in little ways.  Excellence is very important and I  often say to women, the answer is excellence. You can and you need to show that you can.

  “on the one hand, women are advancing and doing better at work but on the other hand, there is the obsession  with getting married, which I just think is awful.

The problem with gender is that it prescribes who we should be instead of recognising who we are. Imagine how much freer we would be if we did not have to live under the weight of gender  expectations. Culture does not make people; people make culture. A  feminist is a man or a woman who says there’s a problem with gender and we must fix it.

We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them, to be macho! T hen we raise our women to cater to our men’s fragile egos. Why should a woman’s success be intimidating to a man? A man who would be  intimidated by me is a man I will have no interest in. Why do we put so much effort into preparing  women for marriage, but not the same for men.

While men and women have their biological differences, those  differences should not be used as a reason  for the disadvantaging of women.

Whenever I’m asked which one is most important, I’m like all of them are important,” “What I care about, which, we just need to… I don’t like the way we raise women [girls] in Africa in general. I think it’s about raising them differently. I think that is really important. “Because of the way they are raised is why you see that some women can be highly accomplished and educated, but have a lot holding them back. They have internal issues because of things that they have learnt growing up. For example, that’s why you will find that a woman who owns a house in the US, or anywhere else for that matter, and is 39 years old, decides one day that she wants to get married so is going to sell her house!

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My attitude to feminism is this: I am a happy feminist. I think all fair-minded people should be. Sometimes it becomes a problem of wordchoice, as many people have come to associate feminism with hairy women burning bras and so don’t want to be called feminists, even though they believe in the basic idea of feminism.

How we are raised – that thing where we are raised to compete with one another for the attention of men. You know there is a lot of undoing that needs to be done. I think it is too late for us (laughs), I really do, but I’m hopeful for the future. “When I say the future, I mean those who are born today, I don’t mean like us, and the basis for my faith and hope is that I realise how much of all of this is construction. We are not born like this, we are made like this. So  for me, we can unmake it and if I  were to have children, it’s very clear  to me and also my nieces and nephews the way I deal with them, it’s clear  how I do it. I don’t do that gender bullshit. I don’t do if you are a girl,  you have to think other girls are  competition for you and you have to be fake to get a man. Just be yourself and there are actually good men in the world (laughs).”

Many  women, African women, shy away from it for many reasons. I mean we don’t have to… if somebody chooses not to call it feminism, it’s fine for me. It is just awareness that things are not okay and we can do better.

There is always a generational  difference but I do think we need  it. Women need to step up, and  men too, and here is the thing – I  don’t think feminism is for women only, it’s for men and women  and that is the way we’re going to change things.

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. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.

What if boys and girls were raised not to link money to masculinity?

By far the worst thing to do to a man is by saying they have to be hard, is that we leave them with fragile egos.

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Why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage but don’t teach men the same?” 

We define masculinity in a narrow way.” 

What if boys and girls were raised not to link money to masculinity?”    

A man is as likely as a woman to be intelligent and creative.

Gender as it functions today is a great injustice.

I am angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change, but in addition to being angry, I’m also hopeful because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better.

Other Quotes Outside Feminism By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

We did that often, asking each other questions whose answers we already knew. Perhaps it was so that we would not ask the other questions, the ones whose answers we did not want to know.

Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.

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Oppression Olympics is what smart liberal
Americans say to make you feel stupid and to make you shut up. But there IS an oppression olympics going on. American racial minorities – blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Jews – all get shit from white folks, different kinds of shit but shit still. Each secretly believes that it gets the worst shit. So, no, there is no United League of the Oppressed. However, all the others think they’re better than blacks because, well, they’re not black.”

I recently spoke at a university where a
student told me it was such a shame that
Nigerian men were physical abusers like the
father character in my novel. I told him that I
had recently read a novel called American
Psycho,and that it was a shame that young
Americans were serial murderers.

Dear Non-American Black, when you make the choice to come to America, you become black. Stop arguing. Stop saying I’m Jamaican or I’m Ghanaian. America doesn’t care.”

And it’s wrong of you to think that love leaves room for nothing else. It’s possible to love something and still condescend to it.

Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.

You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.

The educated ones leave, the ones with the potential to right the wrongs. They leave the weak behind. The tyrants continue to reign
because the weak cannot resist. Do you not
see that it is a cycle? Who will break that
cycle?

There are people who think that we cannot
rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time. It is like telling a crawling baby who tries to walk, and then falls back on his buttocks, to stay there. As if the adults walking past him did not crawl, once.

The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did
not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried they will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being too sensitive. And we don’t want them to say, Look how far we’ve come, just forty years ago it would have been illegal for us to even be a couple blah blah blah, because you know what we’re thinking when they say that? We’re thinking why the fuck should it ever have been illegal anyway? But we don’t say any of this stuff. We let it pile up inside our heads and when we come to nice liberal dinners like this, we say that race doesn’t matter because that’s what we’re supposed to say, to keep our nice liberal friends comfortable. It’s true. I speak from experience.

Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was
the choicelessness she often felt around him.”

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There are some things that are so unforgivable that they make other things easily forgivable.”

Race doesn’t really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don’t have that choice.

This is our world, although the people who drew this map decided to put their own land on top of ours. There is no top or bottom, you
see.”

…my point is that the only authentic identity
for the African is the tribe…I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white . But I was Igbo before the white man came.”

If you don’t understand, ask questions. If
you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.

Why did people ask “What is it about?” as if a novel had to be about only one thing.”

The real tragedy of our postcolonial world is not that the majority of people had no say in whether or not they wanted this new world; rather, it is that the majority have not been given the tools to negotiate this new world.”

When it comes to dressing well, American culture is so self-fulfilled that it has not only disregarded this courtesy of self presentation, but has turned that disregard into a virtue. We are too superior/busy/cool not-uptight to bother about how we look to other people, and so we can wear pajamas to school and underwear to the mall.”

How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives we imagined.”

The problem with looking in the mirror is that you never know how you will feel about what you see. Sometimes, when my hormones are out of sync, I have no interest in the mirror, and if I do look I think everything is all wrong. Other times, I am quite pleased with what I see.

FB: Achaab_dan GH
Twitter: @AcHaaB_dAn
IG: achaab_dan_gh
E-mail: achaabdan@gmail.com

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