9 Things You Didn’t Know About Chimamanda
1. Her Feminism is Inspired by Ordinary Women
In an interview with Vogue Magazine she was asked if she in any way views herself as a feminist heroine, to which she replied, “The real heroes are the nameless women in the market, who are holding their families together. They are traders and their husbands are out drinking somewhere… It’s those women I admire. I am full of admiration for them.”
2. She Grew Up Surrounded By Strong Women
Her mother was the University of Nigeria’s first female registrar. At a time when women were still viewed as homemakers, Adichie’s mother, Grace rose within her ranks to serve as the administrative head of the university.
3. She loves fashion
Just like her writing, style is very important to her. Growing up, her mother made a fuss about what she and her siblings wore, placing more emphasis on developing one’s own sense of style, as opposed to being yoked by fashion. This is because fashion is fickle while style is timeless. She has a Style blog that is managed by her ‘team’.
4. She Was Once A Med Student
Following her father’s wishes, Adichie enrolled in medical school in Nigeria, but dropped out at age 19 to attend Drexel University in Philadelphia on a scholarship. She ended up graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in communication and political science.
5. She was inspired by Chinua Achebe
After reading Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” Adichie was inspired by seeing her own life represented in the pages. She once said, “I realized that people who looked like me could live in books.” Using that inspiration, Adichie has been writing about the Nigerian experience throughout her career.
6. She grew up in a house once owned by Achebe
She is the fifth of six children and grew up in a house that was once used by Nigeria’s and one of Africa’s finest writers, Chinua Achebe, whose book Things fall apart she read at the age of 10.
7. Giving back
She’s been organizing an annual Creative Writing Workshop since 2008 to nurture the Writing culture among the Nigerian youth.
8. “Half of a Yellow Sun”
Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2007), which was first published as a short story. The book is set against the backdrop of the Biafran war. The book title reflects the flag of the short-lived independent nation.
9. She doesn’t like to be referred to as ‘MRS’
Though married to Dr. Ivara Esege, she does not like to be referred to as ‘MRS’. In an interview with Naija, she said: “Addressing me as Mrs. Chimamanda (Esega), I don’t like this at all. My name is Chimamanda Adichie, full stop”.