Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Biography

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who was born on September 15, 1977, has authored fiction, nonfiction, and short stories. In especially in her second home, the United States, she was referred to in The Times Literary Supplement as “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature.”

Among Adichie’s writings are the books Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), Americanah (2013), The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), and the essay collection We Should All Be Feminists. She has also published short stories. (2014). Her most recent works include Notes on Grief (2019), Zikora (2020), and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (2017). (2021).

She received a MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008. She received the PEN Pinter Prize in 2018. She was named one of the BBC’s 100 most influential women in 2021.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Childhood and family

In the Nigerian city of Enugu, Adichie was the fifth of six Igbo children to be born. She was raised in Nsukka, home of Enugu State University. Her father, James Nwoye Adichie (1932–2020), was a professor of statistics at the University of Nigeria when she was a young child. Grace Ifeoma, who served as the university’s first female registrar from 1942 to 2021, is her mother. They lived in a campus apartment building that had once belonged to Chinua Achebe. During the Nigerian Civil War, her paternal and maternal grandparents were among the family members who essentially lost everything. Her family’s ancestral house is in the Anambra state, which is called Abba.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Education

At the University of Nigeria Secondary School in Nsukka, where Adichie finished her secondary education, she won numerous academic honors. She spent a full year and a half at the University of Nigeria studying pharmacy and medicine. During this period, she served as the editor of The Compass, a newspaper produced by the university’s Catholic medical students.

At the age of 19, Adichie relocated from Nigeria to the United States so that she could study political science and communications at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She changed schools to ECSU to be closer to her sister Uche, a medical professional who worked in Coventry, Connecticut. She earned a bachelor’s degree from ECSU in 2001, summa cum laude.

Johns Hopkins University awarded Adichie a master’s degree in creative writing in 2003. As a Hodder fellow, Adichie spent the 2005–2006 school year at Princeton University. 2008 saw her get a Master of Arts in African studies from Yale University. In 2008, she also got a MacArthur Fellowship. For the academic year 2011–2012, she was awarded a fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Adichie has been awarded sixteen honorary doctorates, the last of which she will receive on April 28, 2022, from the Catholic University of Louvain, Yale, Pennsylvania, Edinburgh, Duke, Georgetown, and Johns Hopkins.

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Career as a writer

Under the name Amanda N. Adichie, Adichie wrote a book of poems in 1997 called “Decision” and a drama in 1998 called “For Love of Biafra.” When Adichie was a college senior living in Connecticut, She created the short narrative “My Mother, the Crazy African,” which examines the challenges that could arise when a person is exposed to two completely different cultures.

Adichie also contributed to Zoetrope: All-Story and Topic Magazine.

Purple Hibiscus, her debut book, was widely praised by critics and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in 2003. Her work, Purple Hibiscus, was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2004. (2005).

Her second work, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), was inspired by the flag of the tragic nation of Biafra and is set before and during the Nigerian Civil War. According to Adichie, she wrote the book as a tribute to her own grandfather, who passed unexpectedly in a camp for refugees during the war. Destination Biafra by Buchi Emecheta, published in 1982, was crucial for Adichie’s research while she was writing Half of a Yellow Sun. Half of a Yellow Sun received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007. Based on the same-titled book, Biyi Bandele’s Half of a Yellow Sun was released in 2014 and starred BAFTA and Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and BAFTA winner Thandiwe Newton. In November 2020, the general public selected Half of a Yellow Sun as the best piece of fiction to have won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in its 25-year history.

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The third book by Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck, is a collection of 12 short stories that looks at the interactions between men and women, parents and kids, and Americans and Africans. The story “Ceiling” by Adichie appeared in the 2011 collection The Best American Short Stories.

Her third book, Americanah (2013), which examines a young Nigerian woman’s experience with race in America, was selected by The New York Times as one of “The 10 Best Books of 2013.”

Adichie was raised in Nigeria and was not used to being recognized by the color of her skin; this only started to happen when she moved to the US for college. Adichie had to deal with what it meant to be a person of color in America as a black African living there. She had to find her way around and understand the idea of race. She later used this novel to write about this incident. The book later went on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award and was selected as the winner of the 2017 “One Book, One New York” program. The initiative encouraged all city residents to read the same book as part of a community reading campaign.

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She co-curated the PEN World Voices Festival in 2015.

The inspiration for Adichie’s subsequent book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, which was released in March 2017, came from a letter she wrote to a friend who had requested guidance on how to raise her daughter as a feminist.

Zikora, a standalone short tale by Adichie about sexism and being a single mother, was published in 2020.

Notes on Grief, Adichie’s memoir about the passing of her father, was published in May 2021. It was adapted from an essay with the same name that appeared in The New Yorker in September 2020. Her comments “put a welcome, authentic voice to this most universal of emotions, which is also one of the most universally avoided,” as the reviewer for The Independent put it.

Adiche published her first children’s book, Mama’s Sleeping Scarf, in April 2022. It will be published in 2023 and is dedicated to her daughter.

In an interview, history professor Toyin Falola discussed some Nigerian leaders who, in his opinion, have received too much praise for their accomplishments. He uses a number of Nigerian academics who he rightfully refers to as “intellectual heroes” to support his claim. He names Bolanle Awe, Eni Njoku, Ayodele Awojobi, Babatunde Fafunwa, Simeon Adebo, Teslim Elias, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Chinua Achebe among the authors he included on his list.


After reading Chinua Achebe’s 1958 novel Things Fall Apart at the age of 10, Ngozi Adichie claims that Achebe was her original and primary source of inspiration. Adichie has stated that while reading Achebe’s books, she came to the realization that people who looked like her might “live in books.” She also cited Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta as an inspiration. After Emecheta passed away, Adichie said: “Buchi Emecheta. We can talk now because you spoke first. I appreciate your bravery. I appreciate your creativity, Nodu na ndokwa. Adichie has also mentioned The African Child by Camara Laye and the 1992 anthology Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby, as key readings.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Lectures

“The Danger of a Single Story”

In 2009, Adichie spoke at TED under the topic “The Danger of a Single Story.” With over 33 million views, it has risen to the top of all-time most-watched TED Talks. She highlighted her concern about the underrepresentation of many cultures in the lecture. She continued by saying that when she was a young girl, she read numerous American and British literature with a preponderance of characters who were of Caucasian ancestry. She maintained throughout her remarks that a lack of cultural diversity might be detrimental. Adichie noted the value of many stories in various cultures and the need for representation as she closed her speech. Because individuals are multifaceted, she argued for a deeper knowledge of stories, claiming that by doing so, one misinterprets people, their origins, and their histories. She has spoken about it again since 2009, most recently in 2019 at the Hilton Humanitarian Symposium of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

“We should all be feminists”

We Should All Be Feminists is the title of Adichie’s 2014 book, which Fourth Estate released after her 2012 TEDx lecture at TedXEuston in London, which has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube. It is said that the book has sold 750,000 copies in the United States alone. She talked about her views on sexuality, gender, and her experiences as an African feminist. According to Adichie, the issue with gender is that it determines who we are. She added, “I’m angry. The way gender is structured today is a serious injustice. We ought to all be furious. Although there is a long history of anger bringing about constructive change, I am also hopeful because I have a strong belief in people’s capacity to change for the better. In an interview with BBC News on December 8, 2021, Adichie was asked about the responsibility of being a feminist icon. She claimed that while utilizing her platform to speak up for others was acceptable, she chose to define her responsibilities for herself. She also discussed women’s rights to express rage since it inspires action.

Using samples in “Flawless”

In December 2013, Beyoncé used portions of Adichie’s TEDx talk in the song “Flawless.”

Adichie said in an interview with NPR that “anything that gets young people talking about feminism is a very good thing” when asked about Beyoncé’s use of her discourse. In a follow-up interview with the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, she clarified the claim: “Another thing I detested was the constant commentary that she must be extremely thankful to Beyoncé or that people are finally aware of her because of Beyoncé. That was disappointing to me. I had the thinking that I am a writer and have been for a while, and I don’t want to put on this act that is now allegedly demanded of me: “Thanks to Beyoncé, my life will never be the same again.” I didn’t talk about it much because of this.

Adichie has made it clear that her brand of feminism is different from Beyoncé’s, especially when it comes to their divergent views on the place that males play in women’s life. She said: “Her style is not my style but I do find it interesting that she takes a stand in political and social issues since a few years. She portrays a woman who has girl power, has control over her own destiny, and makes her own decisions. That truly grabs my attention. To some who have questioned the singer’s feminist credentials, Adichie has responded angrily, saying: “Whoever says they’re feminist is bloody feminist.”

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“Connecting Cultures”

Adichie gave the Commonwealth Lecture 2012 on the theme of “Connecting Cultures” on March 15, 2012, at the Guildhall in London. She stated: “Realistic fiction is not simply the recording of the real, as it were; it is more than that; it strives to infuse the actual with meaning. We frequently don’t know what things mean as they happen. However, as we recount what happened, meaning develops and allows us to draw connections with emotional weight.

“Freedom of expression”

The first of Adichie’s 2022 Reith Lectures, which were inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” address, was presented by the BBC on November 30, 2022.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Views


Adichie spoke about feminism and writing in an interview from 2014: “I think of myself as a storyteller, but I would not object in the slightest if someone were to think of me as a feminist writer. I have a highly feminist perspective on the world, so that perspective must somehow be present in my work.


Adichie is a Catholic and was raised in a Catholic household, although she periodically believes that her beliefs, particularly those related to feminism, conflict with her religion. At a Georgetown University event in 2017, she asserted that religion “is not a women-friendly institution” and “has been used to justify oppressions that are based on the idea that women are not equal human beings.” She has asked Nigerian Christian and Muslim leaders to convey messages of peace and cooperation. Even though she had previously identified as an atheist and had brought up her daughter in the Catholic faith, she has now characterized herself as culturally Catholic. In a 2021 Humboldt Forum, she disclosed that she had returned to her Catholic faith.

LGBT issues

Adichie is an African supporter of LGBT rights. In 2014, when Nigeria passed a law against homosexuality, she was one of the Nigerian writers who criticized the law, calling it unconstitutional and “a strange priority to a c a nation with so many genuine issues. She further stated that the legislation is unfair since it criminalizes consensual homosexual conduct between adults even if it does not amount to a crime. Additionally, Adichie was good friends with the openly gay writer from Kenya, Binyavanga Wainaina. When he passed away on May 21, 2019, after a stroke in Nairobi, Adichie admitted at her eulogy that she was having trouble holding back her tears.

Since 2017, Adichie has received numerous accusations of transphobia, primarily for her original response to the topic “Are trans women women?” which was, “My feeling is trans women are trans women.” Later, Adichie explained what she had stated, writing: “Perhaps I should have said that cis women are cis women and that all women are women. However, the word “cis” does not naturally occur in my lexicon. and most people most likely wouldn’t understand it. Since my purpose wasn’t to elevate one or the other, using the terms “trans” and “cis” acknowledges the distinction between women who transition and women who are born that way. I have advocated for the rights of transgender persons and will do so in the future.

K. Rowling’s essay, “J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues,” generated “all the noise” in 2020, according to Adichie, who called the piece “perfectly reasonable.” Once more, Adichie was accused of transphobia; part of these allegations came from Nigerian novelist Akwaeke Emezi, a former student of Adichie’s writing workshop. Adichie criticized cancel culture in response to the criticism, saying: “There’s a sense in which you aren’t permitted to learn and evolve. Additionally, forgiving is not an option. It lacks sympathy, in my opinion.

In her article “It Is Obscene” from June 2021, Adichie also condemned cancel culture. In the essay, she talks with two unnamed writers who took her writing course and afterwards denounced her on social media for comments she made about transgender people. Their “obscene” virtue was, in her words, “passionate performance of virtue that is well executed in the public space of Twitter but not in the intimate space of friendship.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Private existence

Adichie wed Nigerian doctor Ivara Esege in 2009. One daughter was born to them in 2016.

Adichie splits her time teaching writing seminars in Nigeria and the United States.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Awards and acclaim

She was nominated for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002 for her short story “You in America,” and the 2002 BBC World Service Short Story Awards named her piece “That Harmattan Morning” as a joint winner. She was awarded the 2002–2003 David T. Wong International Short Story Prize in 2003. (PEN Center Award).

She was one of the authors included in The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” Fiction Issue in 2010. In April 2014, the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club’s Africa39 project celebrated Port Harcourt as the 2014 UNESCO World Book Capital by choosing her as one of the 39 authors under 40. One of the greatest honors for intellectuals in the United States, Adichie was elected as one of 228 new members to be inducted into the 237th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on October 7, 2017, according to an announcement made in April 2017.

Adichie has received 16 honorary doctorates from schools like Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Edinburgh, Duke University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and Catholic University of Louvain. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, honorary degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2016. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, honorary degree from Haverford College and The University of Edinburgh in 2017. In 2018, Amherst College bestowed upon her an honoris causa Doctor of Humane Letters degree. 2019 saw her receive an honorary doctor honoris causa degree from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. On May 20, Yale University conferred an honorary degree to Ngozi Adichie. She was awarded her 16th honorary doctorate by the Catholic University of Louvain on April 28, 2022.

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Adichie turned down an award that was to be presented to her by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, a member of her communications team said to the Nigerian daily The Guardian on October 13, 2022: “The author did not accept the award and, as a result, did not attend the ceremony.” Adichie was appointed the Odeluwa of Abba, a Nigerian chief, by her home Anambra State’s kingdom of Abba on December 30, 2022. The kingdom bestowed this honor on her for the first time ever.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Other recognitions

2010 Listed among The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40”

2013 Listed among The New York Times’ “Ten Best Books of 2013”, for Americanah

2013 Listed among the BBC’s “Top Ten Books of 2013”, for Americanah

2013 Foreign Policy magazine “Top Global Thinkers of 2013”

2013 Listed among the New African’s “100 Most Influential Africans 2013”

2014 Listed among Africa39 project of 39 writers aged under 40

2015 Listed among Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”

2015 Commencement Speaker at Wellesley College

2017 Commencement Speaker at Williams College

2018 Class Day Speaker for Harvard University.

2019 Class Day Speaker for Yale University.

Adichie was one of 15 women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, guest-edited by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Adichie was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2019.

Chimamanda was also elected in March 2017 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. This made her the second Nigerian to be given such an honour, after Prof. Wole Soyinka. She was listed among the 40 Honorary members from 19 countries.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Net Worth

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the most well-known female writers in Nigeria and all of Africa. Her estimated net worth is $500,000.

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