By Oluwatobi Oluwagbemi
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer who writes about feminism and Nigerian history. She hails from Enugu in Nigeria and is a powerful leader in feminist culture, shining a light on marginalized people.
I see Chimamanda Adichie as a role model and a woman of strength. I look up to her for several reasons, the first being that she is from Africa. People do not see African writers often in American culture, so I see her as a gem. In America, people focus on white American writers, but there are many great people of color who are writers, and people should be experiencing a myriad of writing. She’s also very well educated, and that reminds me that my education is important, too. The third reason I see her as a role model is that she is a great writer, and I love to write myself. Adichie writes about feminist issues and she focuses on racial issues, too. For example, my favorite book from all her writing is called Half of a Yellow Sun.
The story begins in a somewhat peaceful and almost idyllic setting. Olanna, the main character, has fallen in love with a radical Nigerian professor who rallies his colleagues, friends, and students around the idea that the southern portion of Nigeria needs to declare its independence. A new country will be formed and it will be called the Biafra. Many of the characters are inspired and excited about this concept. It is a beautiful story of the history of Nigeria and for those who want to learn about other cultures and history.
It is important to learn about other cultures and history because life is like a book. If you stay in one place all the time you are only reading one chapter of that book.
“If you stay in one place all the time you are only reading one chapter of that book!” Tweet this Quote!
The female characters in Half of a Yellow Sun are very strong women. They are women who make decisions, and their opinions mean a lot to their spouses. They carry power, and they speak up without fear. They are involved in conversations. This is important because standing for women’s equality is a central component of feminism. Showing female characters, particularly those from male dominated societies, as strong changes how people see women. It changes the ways that we imagine women can be. In this way, she is a feminist, and I love feminism as it is important to stand for women’s equality.
Adichie is also very funny; she loves to joke a lot during her speeches. I find that very inspiring as I am still learning how to handle public speeches. She handles criticism with grace, and that is very impressive. One story that I read about Adichie talked about how she was criticized for supporting people who are gay. In Africa, gay people are seen as taboo, and they are not safe. Adichie said that if someone wasn’t happy with what they read in her book, they could stop reading her books because she would write about what she believed. She did not get angry at all. She is very good at public speaking, and she does not show any signs of nervousness at all.
Showing someone in the margins with confidence provides a great example to others. I also think her sense of style is amazing. She dresses so well and I love her headscarves. She loves to rock the African look. People assume that Africans dress in weird ways, but Africans dress so beautifully. We wear Ankara, a type of fabric in Africa, which is so beautiful. I often see pictures of her wearing this fabric, which shows me that she is proud of her African culture.
I want people to know that everyone is gifted in one way or the other and it is very important to work on those talents and skills and use it to their full productivity. I also want people to research Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because there is a lot to learn from her. Her books are full of history and it would be enlightening for those who have not yet read her books (a list of her books is included at the end of this post). It is rare to have African women in the spotlight, but this shows that Africa is not just a place of hunger. Africa is a beautiful place. It is important to shine the spotlight on African women, because African women live within the margins. Shining a spotlight on marginalized groups gives them a voice.
I think that Chimamanda Adichie is a great role model to women and she has a great personality. She is an amazing woman whose interviews show us more about her talent and intellect. I would advise people to read her books. She also talks a lot about feminism which is very amazing because she is famous as an African Feminist, even though feminism is not popular in Africa. Her TED Talk was very amazing. Beyoncé (a famous American Musician) also featured it in her song titled “Flawless.”
Here is a list of her books.
- Half of a Yellow Sun
- Purple Hibiscus
- The Things Around Your Neck
- We Should All Be Feminists
- One World: A Global Anthropology
- You in America
- La Flor Purpura
- and other short stories
Oluwatobi Oluwagbemi is a student passionate about women, people and world change. She is involved in volunteering, especially when it has to do with change in the community. She desires to create change by increasing awareness that everyone is intelligent and deserving of education. She is always involved in places that can make a difference, and she wants to help women build their confidence as well as their lives.