You may know her as the author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, or Americanah. She’s a lady whose literary works has captured the hearts of many across the globe, a lady whose smile and words have warmed our hearts for decades. Chimamanda Adichie is one of the most iconic authors and women in the world today.
We also know her as a proud feminist who has always been an advocate of women’s rights. We’ve read her books, and we’ve listened to her speak, but there’s still not so much we know about her.
So, we did a little digging around and unearthed some pretty interesting and fun facts about Chimamanda and created this post to share them with you. So, let’s dive right into the fun and interesting facts about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that you may not know.
1. She was born on the 15th of September, 1977 in Enugu state. To a lot of people, she looks way younger than her age. She knows this and had made a comment about it saying, “I know, I look 18. Actually, it can be a bit irritating. People don’t always take you seriously.” I know exactly how you feel, Chimamanda. It’s a blessing and a curse to people like us who age gracefully.
2. Chimamanda first enrolled in medical school to become a doctor but dropped out at 19 when she got a scholarship to Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA. She graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in Communication and Political Science.
3. Another interesting fact about Chimamanda is that her inspiration came from reading top writer Chinua Achebe’s iconic work Things Fall Apart when she was 10 years old. She realized that “people who look like me could live in books,” and this made her start writing herself.
4. The house she grew up in was also once owned by Chinua Achebe. Now, this is really interesting. As a lover of fantasy stories myself, I would like to think that some of Achebe’s literary magic lives on the walls of that house and connected with Chimamanda’s, and voila! Awesomeness was born. Does anyone know if the house is vacant? (Asking for a friend.
5. She doesn’t like to be referred to as Mrs. She’s married to a USA-based doctor, Dr Ivara Esege, but Chimamanda doesn’t like to be referred to as Mrs Yup, her feminist game is strong. She is quoted as saying, “Addressing me as Mrs Chimamanda (Esega), I don’t like this at all. So, my name is Chimamanda Adichie, full stop.” She prefers the “Ms” label instead. Yes, ma!
6. Top celebrities in the world love her. After delivering a TEDxEuston talk in December 2012 titled We Should All Be Feminists, music boss Beyonce featured an excerpt of the talk in her song Flawless. Will Smith and Gabriella Union are also a couple of other Hollywood big names that are fans of her work.
7. Her critically-acclaimed novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2007) was first published as a short story. It was later made into a movie released in 2013 and featuring an international cast, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Genevieve Nnaji, and Onyeka Onwenu, to name a few. Its title was gotten from the half sun that is featured in the Biafran flag.
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8. #Fashionista: Another fun fact about Chimamanda Adichie is that she has a great sense of fashion. Check out some of her stunning garbs on her Instagram page @chimamanda_adichie. Feel free to follow and copy some of her styles (but don’t quote me o). She’s also a great ambassador for African style and continues to make us proud with her choice of outfits.
9. She comes from a family of firsts. Her father, James Nwoye Adichie, is Nigeria’s first professor of statistics, who later became the deputy vice-chancellor of UNN, while her mom, Grace Ifeoma Adichie, is the first female registrar in UNN also. She is the fifth out of six children.
10. Supports the LGBTQ community. She condemns and has spoken against Nigeria’s anti-gay laws, which she called “un-African”. Well, let’s just leave it at that.
11. Her classic childhood reads. Other popular books she grew up reading are Enid Blyton’s works, including the classic series, The Famous Five. Ah! She know better thing. Team Enid Blyton here.
12. She was featured in The 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2011 by Forbes. And was a finalist in the 2014 Africa Person of the Year, also by Forbes. She remains one of the most influential women in Africa.
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There you have it, folks, 12 interesting facts about one of our favourite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Now, how many would you say you knew before reading the piece? Be honest and share your comments with us.
Also, which one of them was your favourite? And if you know any facts about her that you think should have been included but were not, please share them with us below.
Now you know more about this superwoman. Who would you like us to feature next?