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Feminist, Novelist & Fashionista Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Chats with Vogue UK on being Black, Selma, Style & More!



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Vogue UK 2015 - BellaNaija - March 2015002

Photography: Akintunde Akinleye via VogueUK


As an award winning novelist, a moving force in International literature and a noted feminist – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has had a wealth of experience in women equality, oppression, race and more; which she expresses through characters like Olanna, Ifemelu & more in her stellar books.

But in her interview with Erica Wagner of Vogue UK, she doesn’t just talk about her passions; she also discusses her venture into a more personal style, her thoughts on Beyoncé as a force for good, her dislike for garri, the Selma movie and more.

Read excerpts from the interview below;

On her thoughts on the oppression of women
(It) Makes me angry. I can’t not be angry. I don’t know how you can just be calm. My family says to me, ‘Oh, you’re such a man!’ – you know, very lovingly… But of course I’m not, I just don’t see why I shouldn’t speak my mind.

On her TedEx talk being used in Beyoncé’s Flawless song
I am a person who writes and tells stories. That’s what I want to talk about. There’s an obsession with celebrity that I have never had. But the one thing I will say is that I really do think Beyoncé is a force for good, as much as celebrity things go. I know there has been lot of talk in the past year about how feminism is ‘cool’ now, but I think if we are honest, it’s not a subject that’s easy. She didn’t have to do this, she could have taken on, I don’t know, world peace. Or nothing at all. And I realize that so many young people in our celebrity-obsessed world, well, suddenly they are thinking about this. And that’s a wonderful thing. So I don’t have any reservations about having said yes.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Vogue UK 2015 - BellaNaija - March 2015003

Did you know that Chimamanda designs some of her clothes herself? She shared how her husband, Dr. Ivara Esege, helps out with them
I do all these drawings for my clothes. Really terrible drawings. But I love to do them, and he gave me the crayons so I could add a little bit of colour.

Chimamanda was also featured her in Vogue’s ‘Today I’m Wearing’ segment. To see the feature, click HERE.

On being Black only in America
In Nigeria I’m not black. We don’t do race in Nigeria. We do ethnicity a lot, but not race. My friends here don’t really get it. Some of them sound like white Southerners from 1940. They say, ‘Why are black people complaining about race? Racism doesn’t exist!’ It’s just not a part of their existence.

Somebody sends a limo to pick me up, and I just notice an attitude that the white, older male driver has. He’s thinking, that’s who I’m picking up? And I can’t help thinking, if I were white, would he have a problem? If I were black and male, would he have a problem?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Vogue UK 2015 - BellaNaija - March 2015001

On Ava DuVernay’s movie, Selma, being almost entirely overlooked by the Oscars
I took that very personally. It’s almost a slap in the face for a person who wants to believe in some kind of progress; 2014 was such a difficult year for America and race.

Even when I’m not in the US, I follow what’s going on, I’m very emotionally invested. And I find myself thinking that maybe I’ll write an essay about it: looking at the idea that there’s something similar in the way that American society looks at black men who commit crime and women of any colour who report a rape. And I think the similarity is that you are expected to be perfect and pure before you can get any sympathy, any human empathy.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Akintunde Akinleye for Vogue UK - BellaNaija - March 2015

Photography: Akintunde Akinleye

Read the rest of the interview on

Photo Credit: Akintunde Akinleye for Vogue UK |

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at) or style(at) | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle


  1. @edDREAMZ

    March 17, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Niceone gal and keep doing naija proud abeg….

  2. Ebony

    March 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    That chair in the last pic <3

  3. nikki

    March 17, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    love her!!! That chair thoooough!


    March 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Ever lovely…ever making sense. Muah

  5. Reina de las fabricas

    March 17, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    ‘Somebody sends a limo to pick me up, and I just notice an attitude that the white, older male driver has. He’s thinking, that’s who I’m picking up? And I can’t help thinking, if I were white, would he have a problem? If I were black and male, would he have a problem?’…women are still under some kind of coated segregation. Equality is a facade and a light joke to the majority that see us as the ‘Stanford wives’..we’re coming hard #womenrock

  6. Mz Socially Awkward...

    March 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Chimamanda, I’m going to be inexcusably shallow and admit that I clicked straight to your “Today I’m wearing” segment for Vogue before coming to the end of the interview excerpt.

    And gurrrrrllll…. the day I meet you, we’ll either have to go to your place so that I can raid your Ankara dresses or else, to visit your tailors Razak and Samson. That printed jumpsuit was just giving me oxygen, I tell ya and we’re both keen fans of midi-length styles which makes it easier to “obtain” your baffs. 🙂

    I would also love to know who designed that vintage-y, brightly printed Ankara dress you’re wearing in the first photo. Totally in-like with the way she expresses her femininity alongside her unapologetic views on feminism.

  7. Pat

    March 17, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Oh my goodness! Love her style. Pls can I have that Anakara chair biko.

  8. Africhic

    March 18, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I don’t get all the hype about SELMA. It was not that great…………….yes, i said it.

    • na beans to drop 16

      April 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      smh. Jesus be a brain

  9. Mummy Chimamanda

    March 18, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Chi girl, love u so much.

    Had to name my baby girl Chimamanda. When I had her 5 years ago at LUTH, all new mothers then from Igbo extraction seemed to go crazy about your name and named their girls Chimamanda. Now guess what- in my baby’s class there are 3 kids with that same name and there is a bit of confusion cos the class teacher might be talking to one Chimamanda and another Chimamanda brings home the message. I have call her class teacher every time to clarify which Chimamanda is being referred to.

    Iv read all your books, with the latest being ‘Americanah’. Im eagerly waiting for your next publication. Please keep being you and all that is good. God be always with you.

  10. Tosin

    March 18, 2015 at 6:37 pm


  11. Demilade

    March 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Chimamanda is one gorgeous woman. Perfect example of beauty and brains. xx

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