Telling The Real Stories

A writer worth noting

in Opinion by

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer who writes on feminism and on Nigerian History. She hails from Enugu in Nigeria. She is a powerful leader in feminist culture, shining a light on marginalized people.

Adichie has studied medicine and pharmacology at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. At the age of 19, she left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia; she transferred to Eastern Connecticut State where she graduated 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.  

I see Adichie as a role model and a woman of strength. I look up to her for a number reasons-the first being that she is from Africa. People do not see African writers often American culture, so I view her as a gem. In America, people focus on white American writers, but many great writers are people of color, and people should be experiencing a myriad of writing.  She is also very well educated-which reminds me that my education is important, too.

Another reason I see her as a role model is that she is a phenomenal writer. I love to write as well. Adichie writes about feminist and racial issues. 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, this book is a good resource. 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.  

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 up 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.

One story I read about Adichie talked about how she was criticized for supporting people who are gay.  In Africa, homosexuality is considered taboo. 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.  

I am also inspired by her sense of style. 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.

There is a lot to learn from Adichie. Her books are full of history and it would be enlightening to read them for those who have not yet read her books. It is rare to have African women in the spotlight, but her work 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 Adichie is a great role model to women.

Here is a link to her Ted Talk:

 

Oluwatobi is a college student trying to make things work. She loves writing and listening to music. You can always see her with a pen trying to jot down notes. Oluwatobi loves to learn and meet new people.

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