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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Fame, Being in a Feminist Marriage & More



Renowned Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been referred to as one of the most vital and original novelists of her generation, having touched vast topics with her novels that drew extensively on the Biafran war in Nigeria during the late 1960 and non-fiction articles. In a new feature on The NewYorkerLarissa MacFarquhar profiles Chimamanda and takes us on an extensive journey of her life so far, referencing quotes from her books in an article titled: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Comes to Terms With Global Fame.

One part of the article talks about her rise from being an up and coming writer to established Bestselling author of Half of A Yellow Sun. Since attaining great heights in her career, Chimamanda is very in Nigeria. Her face is on billboards. People crowd around her at the airport. When she enters a restaurant, there is a ripple of recognition. Sometimes she will ask for the bill and discover that someone else has paid for her meal. She is admired as a Nigerian who has become an international celebrity, bringing renown to her country and a sense that now, for a Nigerian, anything is possible.

But, because she is so visible, everything she does or says is scrutinized. Once asked where she went instead to find the best African fiction, she said, “My mailbox,” where she received her workshop students’ stories. This was met with a lot of backlashes, especially from Nigerian Twitter. One user wrote; “It doesn’t take much brain juice to realize from her interviews that Ms CNA’s ego can sink an island. So the best African fiction is in Chimamanda Adichie’s inbox?”. Another said, “I hail thee, queen-god mother. Go f–k yourself, Chimamanda.

The profile has quotes from Chimamanda about being African in America, feminism and more. Se excerpts:

On how people handle her success

Ta-Nehisi Coates said to me once that what hurt him the most, becoming successful, was how much it was black intellectuals who seemed to be out for him, and I know what that’s like. I told him that there’s a circle of Nigerians who are resentful of my international success, and it’s very hurtful because I want my people to wish me well.

On being African in America

There is a certain kind of black American that deeply resents an African whom they think of as privileged. Privileged Nigerians especially. My husband and I have got to the airport and they’ve said to us, You’re Nigerian, I bet you have twenty-five thousand dollars in your bag, let’s see it.

On being in a feminist marriage

One of the perils of a feminist marriage is that the man actually wants to be there. He is so present and he does every damn thing! And the child adores him. I swear to God, sometimes I look at her and say, I carried you for nine months, my breasts went down because of you, my belly is slack because of you, and now Papa comes home and you run off and ignore me. Really?

On the right age to indoctrinate her daughter in feminism

If I tell her when she’s four, They don’t let women do that! will it do something to her?. You know that English word ‘chippy’—will she become one of those people who are called chippy?.

Read the full feature on

Photo Credit: Lofficiel Italia


  1. nnenne

    May 30, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Great narative,awesome writer.Am in awe !

  2. mz_daniels

    May 30, 2018 at 9:21 am

    I love Chimamanda very much. However, Chimamanda should not think Nigerians are jealous of her international success when they criticize her. Recently, she has began to put people off and come across as emotionally unintelligent in the things she says.
    America has been known to use and dump celebrities of other races and the uproar is actually a warning cry; maybe we can be a bit more diplomatic and nicer in the way we warn her but then Nigerians give the most dramatic advise.

    All we ask is that she apply tact. All things are lawful but all things are not expedient.

    • Uberhaute Looks

      May 30, 2018 at 10:14 am

      See, social media has brought out the monster in a lot of Nigerians. She however never said all Nigerian… She said a set of Nigerians!

      If someone like me that isn’t as popular as chimamanda could go into depression because people destructively criticized my work on social media, then you understand.

    • slice

      May 30, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Most of her scuccess is international tho. This talk about international success makes me smile. She’s essentially an American export. They published her, promoted her?, bought her books and praised her. Good for her. Hope she’s sVed up money and diversified a author is relevant forever

    • Cocoa

      May 30, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      I dont want to sound insensitive but may i suggest that the issue is still YOU. By this I mean you have to ACTIVELY look into why opinions on your work led you to depression. You attached your self esteem to your work. I used to do the same.

      Your self worth and therefore your joy should be based ONLY on who God tells you you are (evident in His Word) . No opinion can take that away from you, no insult, no persecution . It allows you to take correction even rebuke without being overly emotional about it ( the WISE are blessed by correction, they welcome it).

      When you can’t handle opposition or push bqck without either falling apart or tunring into a mean girl….it exposes a VOID.

      SEEK GOD, HE WILL FILL IT. He filled mine 🙂

  3. David

    May 30, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Yup. She’s right. Many Nigerians are resentful of her unternational success; especially, the exponentially boorish elites, socialites and classicts. It doesn’t help matters that she’s vocal about societal ills which is an indictment on them and a proud feminist. They don’t like her success. It negates their existence. Frankly, I like the effect she has on them.

  4. chimamanda, Tolkein

    May 30, 2018 at 12:44 pm


    I believe you have the emotional capacity of a thick skin? Please apply it and keep the fire burning :).

    A lot of Nigerias on twitter, especially the group you refer to; are dramatic, immature, emotional, ignorant (do not read context or even content) Plus the economic condition are affecting them that they appear to lack humanity in their thought process. They are in permanent cynical, paranoid, kill or be killed, die by fire, struggle-of-the-fittest-by-dragging-others-down-mode….

    Please just go to any dramatic headline and see comments like ‘She deserves it’ (even if ‘she’ is a child or even dead) or ‘Too long I didnt read it’ (therefore reacting on the headlines deliberately picked to evoke reaction’. A lot of them rely on the stipends given to them by said ‘headline manipulator’.

    Again we understand your struggle, and if you experience all this, imagine what us your believers also go through while living, communicating and socialising in Nigeria

    Please take your inspiration wherever it comes from, read comments that are truly objective, and just keep being you,.

    I truly love the description of your husband as a dad. A lot of mothers of daughters with a truly caring father/father figure can relate LOL,

  5. mimi

    May 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Which one is feminist marriage again? goodness me. We get to have names for everything, don’t we?

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