Born on September 15, 1977, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was 38 today!
Raised in the city of Enugu, she is the fifth of six children and she grew up in a house once used by one of Africa’s finest writers, Chinua Achebe.
Despite the challenges she faced, she has grown to become ‘the most prominent’ voice of African literature and probably one of the youngest feminists.
A year ago, Beyonce’s hit single, ‘Flawless’ was released and it included part of her speech on feminism. Other than talking about social issues on pop records, she is an excellent writer, novelist, and public speaker who addresses social issues such as gender, race and social class—with honesty and eloquence.
Here are 10 things you may not know about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
She is our go-to woman for inspiring quotes. In fact, she’s basically a genuine badass.
Here are some serious quotes by her, to celebrate her big day.
1. “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”
2. “Show a people as one thing, only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.”
3. “Write television shows in which female strength is not depicted as remarkable but merely normal. Teach your students to see that vulnerability is a HUMAN rather than a FEMALE trait.”
4. “Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it.”
5. “Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don’t do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are.”
6. “If I were not African, I wonder whether it would be clear to me that Africa is a place where the people do not need limp gifts of fish but sturdy fishing rods and fair access to the pond. I wonder whether I would realize that while African nations have a failure of leadership, they also have dynamic people with agency and voices.”
8. “You have to do more than go there and adopt a child or show us pictures of children with flies in their eyes. That simplifies Africa.”
9. “Because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye … I realized that people like me, girls with skin the color of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature.”
10. “Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.”
11. “Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from.”
12. “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
13. “Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”
Related: 10 books by African women everyone should read
Convinced that she’s a super cool human being?
You should check out her TED talk on “The Danger of a Single Story”, or read her book “Americanah,” which was a New York Times bestseller.
7. “I recently spoke at a university where a student told me it was such a shame that Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had recently read a novel called American Psycho, and that it was a shame that young Americans were serial murderers.”
Happy Birthday Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie from Busyghana.com