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“A new and unique kind of love has come into my life” – Chimamanda Adichie talks Motherhood, Female Sexuality & More

BellaNaija.com

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - July 2014 - BN Beauty - BellaNaija.com 01Author Chimamanda Adichie recently held a webchat session with her fans through Guardian UK’s website. The insightful chat gave us a glimpse into the life of the new mum.

Chimamanda answered questions about motherhood, feminism, her creative process, female sexuality and early failure. The author who recently revealed that she gave birth to a baby girl described motherhood as exciting and terrifying at the same time.

See some of the Q&A below.

On her protagonists:

bobinchiclana asked: I love your writing but most of your protagonists are fairly middle-class or privileged. Have you thought of writing about people who are more in the margins of society… in the case of Nigeria in poorer rural communities.

Chimamanda: I am fairly middle-class and privileged. Perhaps not surprising that I mostly write what I know. (However, Ugwu, who is the soul of Half of a Yellow Sun, is not.)

On Traditional Values and Christianity in Modern Nigeria:

flungoutofspace asked: I’m Udoka, and I wanted to ask if you think of the effects of the interaction between traditional Nigerian (esp. Igbo) values and Christianity in modern Nigeria, and what are the implications for fiction that attempts to address that combination?

Chimamanda: I think it is catastrophic that we, in the name of Christianity, are destroying our pre-Christian heritage. An ancient tree burned down during a vigil. Artifacts destroyed in the name of ‘progress.’ We need to tell those stories. If you are thinking of ‘addressing that combination,’ please do. You have a reader here.

On being a new mom:

Sarah Hannan asked: What excites you the most about being a new mom? What terrifies you the most about being a mom?

Chimamanda: Most exciting – a new and unique kind of love has come into my life, glorious and joyful and encompassing and full of discovery. Most terrifying – the anxiety-filled desire to protect her from everything and the terror-filled sense that I cannot.

On Confidence:

MontagandMildred asked: Would you say you’re a confident person? Do you write with the idea that people will want to read what you have to say in your mind or do you write purely for yourself? I tend to be my own worst enemy and believe that no one will enjoy what I have written.

Chimamanda: Self doubt is part of the creative process. I hate to have it but I also realise it is part of the process. Otherwise you become complacent, which is cancerous for creativity. I generally write the kind of books that I like to read.

On Female Sexuality: 

mariannemandu asked: One of my favourite things about your books is the way your female characters own themselves and their sexuality in such a natural and unselfconscious way. How much feminist theory informed creating the characters, and what was it, if any?

Chimamanda: Haven’t read much feminist theory and generally try to keep ‘theory’ away from my creative space, if that makes sense. I learned much about feminism from watching women in the world. I so long for a world in which women everywhere are no longer taught to link shame and sexuality.

Read up the full chat here.

31 Comments

  1. Tosin

    August 5, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Fab stuff.

  2. chief

    August 5, 2016 at 11:34 am

    You are an angry misandrist and a hypocrite that portrays men as evil oppressors..Every time i hear the word “feminism”i die a little inside and i even die more whenever i see you on blogs.You are just a virus that penetrated our society with your evil agenda and ugly ideology called feminism.Your end goal is to put an end to patriarchy to our African culture..I have been asking you angry feminists to provide me with one scientific and peer reviewed non politically backed of your equality movement.None of you have done that.My father used to tell me as a child never allow any woman to rise up financially more than me .I’m so proud of my father for the advise.

    • Feminist Mnena

      August 5, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      Chief you seem angry…..

      Your father taught you the equivalent of MSDOS when he should have taught you Windows 10. He equipped you for the past and not the changing future. And you will be left behind. And that scares you a bit doesn’t it? I understand the anger. You don’t know your place in a world where women can actually speak their mind, one where maybe they don’t need you even if you manage to surpass them financially.

      It amazes me that because you were born a man – you didn’t work hard to be one, you didn’t ask to be one – because you came out of a woman’s womb as a male, you think you take precedence over me. Call it misandry if you want, I call it Ridiculous.

      If our African culture has apparently imbibed you with so much power, one woman shouldn’t vex you this much. One woman speaking her mind shouldn’t eat at you like this. Maybe you sef you know there’s something funny in the water, you know you stand on shaky logic and even a light chip at it will bring it all crumbling down.

      Chief keep fighting the good fight, we’re just going to step right over you and keep going.

    • Simi

      August 6, 2016 at 12:05 am

      You beautiful beautiful human.

      On the move, ladies, ain’t nobody got time for that.

    • le coco

      August 5, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Please have a glass of water.. don’t choke.. Please

    • Concerned citizen

      August 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      I’m so sorry you ended up being a bigger fool than your father could ever have been. I would say it is expected of our parents generation to extol patriarchy. But after seeing how backwards that mentality has left Africa, I can’t imagine why you would still sit there and promote suppressing the other sex just because you’re a coward.

    • Anon

      August 5, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Chief wanker you sound like a twat!. And you’ve just been – slapped by feminist memna. Mama’s just knocked u the f- out. You better recognise and bow down.

    • Mz_Danielz

      August 5, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      Alalikija is wealthier than you are. I’m sure there are lots of other women who are wealthier. When are you going to stop them since you have the power to ‘allow’ a woman rise above you financially.

    • xx

      August 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Can you imagine his word – ‘allow’ smh

    • oghogho

      August 6, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Chief of agbaya village,you sound dangerously constipated. Go and eat some fresh fruit before you combust

    • Hian

      August 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      LOL @ Chief of Agbaya village.

  3. Uc

    August 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Yes that feeling motherhood brings

  4. Teahy

    August 5, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Chimamanda sometimes depicts mystery, like there is just something about her that people cannot know, which makes her different and creative too.

  5. Corolla

    August 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Love this woman. BTW, Bella Naija Team, can you guys post Obama’s article in Glamour about him becoming a feminist. and why men need to be feminists too

  6. Oma

    August 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I read the rest of the chat on the Guardian and i am filled with admiration for the woman Chimamanda is. You can feel the thoughtfulness, the openness of heart and mind, and the intelligence oozing from her words, Chai, i am always inspired when i read anything from her.
    God bless you and yours Chimamanda, Nigeria is proud of you. People like you reassure us there is still hope for this country amidst the hopelessness that is trying to win over.

  7. ifiii

    August 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    what does she mean by link shame and sexuality together? I don’t understand. Anybody care to help?

    • Ene

      August 5, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      My interpretation of that is that sex is just as natural for women as it is for men. Or at least it should be. From a young age society hard wires us to think that sex for women is mostly for procreation and is a function of satisfying male desire. Anything outside of that is taboo almost. Whereas, sexuality and desire for mere pleasure is seen as normal and expected for men. This is where a Madonna-whore complex comes into play. People can’t reconcile a woman being respectable, smart or good with her extensive sexual history. Respect for women is tied to chastity while acting on sexual desires on our terms and at our discretion is seen a “promiscous”. It is why women cant be as sexually expressive as we want to be because we don’t want to be considered “whores” or sullied. It is why a body count of 10 is okay for men, even applauded but frowned upon for women. In summary, the statement alludes to the fact that women are also sexual beings with needs. And that those needs are absolutely normal and there should be no shame in that. I hope that helps! 🙂

    • Oma

      August 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Yep, you nailed it Ene.

    • oghogho

      August 6, 2016 at 6:06 am

      spot on.

    • xx

      August 6, 2016 at 9:14 am

      You are so smart. I wouldn’t have said it any better

    • NaijaPikin

      August 5, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Ifii it’s women being shamed for their sexual choices (example multiple partners). Males on the other hand are praised for sexual choices.

    • Ifiii

      August 5, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you!

  8. Teju Tj

    August 5, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I read the whole thing on Guardian. She is so intelligent. Very thoughtful response….i cant wait for her next book. Atoke, did you see how someone was asking her why she wrote about the middle class and not the starving African kids? Or the white guy who wanted to write about the Bengali girl….Like I said previously, Chimamamanda was able to write about middle class Nigerians. We can all be write whatever we want to write about.

  9. Tilda

    August 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Love all her books . I’m currently reading Americana. Please people grab a copy. Amazing insightful book.

    • Late

      August 5, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      You’re so two thousand and late to this party!!!

    • Tilda

      August 6, 2016 at 12:27 am

      Wow late you mean you read it hot outta the press. Wow. Or prehaps you proof read actual unpublished manuscripts.wow did you get an award for that. What a magnificent feat.. I am in awe of you. Clap for yaself. I’m reading them now got a bargain on amazon. throughly enjoying them and highly recommended ☺. She’s a great writer wouldn’t you agree

    • oghogho

      August 6, 2016 at 6:02 am

      what a stupid comment. .When has it ever been too late to read for leisure. Abi you dey read for exam at university of dumb ass.

  10. joor

    August 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Femininity is all about honesty and equality and not women portraying men as evil

    • a

      August 5, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      abeg what does women complaining about men have to do with feminism. All Nigerian men do is tell women what to do and how to please them and complain- does that make them feminists?

  11. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    August 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Nigerian women in the past were raised to be obedient to the men in their lives; whether from being abused or not being abused.

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in 1977.

    70’s, 80’s 90’s: were the era for submission unto your non – husbands.

    Read the Bible please.

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is so right.

    When you write, please write on and about what you know.

    Ifeyinwa Atuanya.

  12. Eg

    August 6, 2016 at 11:11 am

    @ chief “coolu temper” otherwise you are gonna become a very angry individual.These female amazons are going to everywhere and even around you. Get use to it.

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