Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


Be graceful. Be elegant. Be modest. Never make waves. How one girl learned the rules for happiness—and how to break them 

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Originally posted at

Near and Dear: Front row, the author at age eight in Nigeria, 1985, with her immediate family: two sisters, three brothers and, bookending the group, her father and mother.

I first knew there was such a thing as blue mascara because of Aunty Chinwe.
Continue reading “THE FEMININE MISTAKE”


Chimamanda. I think it was the name I fell in love with at first, I had never heard that name. My secondary school was in the heart of Umuahia, with over 300 Igbo students and no one had the name – CHIMAMANDA. But we sure had an abundance of the regular Igbo names : CHIDINMA, CHIOMA, CHIAMAKA etc.


(I’ll be discussing my views and opinions on feminism here. Most importantly I’ll be talking about HOW MUCH OF FEMINISM I THINK IS TOO MUCH. But then remember one man’s food is another man’s poison). Continue reading “PART 1 : FEMINISM : HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?”



“Your mates In the North have like five children already and you are here acting this way… ”

All Nigerians know about the above statement. We have all used it at one point in time.

Last week, I had my law of Equity Part 1 exam. Now, that’s one of the most ANNOYING EXAMS I have ever written in my life. The last time I felt that way about an exam was when I wrote MY MATHS, SSCE – Senior Secondary School Examination for West Africans. FEAR. CONFUSION. TEARS. BLACK OUT.
So you can imagine me trying to wrap my head around “Choses in Action”, “Equitable Maxims” and “Equitable Defenses”.
In my confused state of mind, one of the exam supervisors , MR. O, kept on making some annoying comments. He was trying to caution some girls that were “sharing Ideas” in the exam hall.
Do you know one of the things he kept on saying repeatedly with all seriousness??


I. Was. Pissed.

Right in the exam hall I knew I had gotten a new topic for my blog.


You see my country is basically divided into NORTH AND SOUTH.
While those in the South are very lucky to have access to education and freedom from some rather strict laws, I must say, those in the North are not so lucky. And you know who majority of “those” are? They are WOMEN. GIRLS.

The average girl with the average good foundation in the Southern part of Nigeria, dreams of graduating and having her MSC Degree before the age 24. That is if Jamb will allow you sha. 
We are allowed to DREAM. To let our imaginations go far and wide. We are allowed to choose who ever we want to get married to. We are allowed to attain the highest level of education. We are allowed to BE WHATEVER WE WANT TO BE.
But this is not the same for majority of the girls in the NORTH. And with the way this BOKOHARAM menace is going on, these barbaric practices that are repugnant to natural justice, good conscience and equity, won’t fade away anytime soon.

A survey conducted by population council Nigeria office, on HIV/Aids and early marriage in Northern Nigeria, shows that the percentage of girls who are married by age 15, is much more higher in north than in the south. For example, North West alone has 35.8%, north east has 24.9%, north central has 7.7%, while south west has 0.7%, south-south has 2.4% and south-east has 0.4%. , most of the marriage below of 18years of age in northern Nigeria are forced married, and most of the victims are less educated, they lack opportunities and skills for income generating activities, and above all lack adequate knowledge of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and STIs issues, and 1/3 of the marriages are polygamous with an average age of 18yrs between husband and wife.
The survey also shows that over 50% of the marriages are at an average age of 15years, and some of the risks associated with early marriage comprises of the risk to be HIV positive because of unprotected sex with spouse that are mostly older, maternal, infant mortality and pregnancy problems, susceptibility to health condition such as VVF, RVF, also limited involvement in decision making processes, and limited educational attainment.”



Source :
Click for more information.

The other side of my country. The other side of the world – seeing as this is not a NIGERIA PROBLEM ALONE.

So Dear Mr. O…

Next time you want to scold female students or any girl please be sure not to compare us with young girls in the OTHER SIDE OF MY COUNTRY AND THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. Because while I’m allowed to DREAM, they are not allowed to think for themselves. Because while I still ask and depend on my MUM and DAD who still believe I’m a baby at the age of 21, these girls have gone through pains I can only imagine. Pains I dread, they have experienced.

Compare us with girls who are making a difference and changing the world in the midst of cultures and practices that have reduced the girl child and females into nothing but sexual objects and child bearing machines.
Better still compare us with MALALA YOUSAFZAI who at a point was the MOST POPULAR AND IMPORTANT TEENAGER IN THE WORLD, who is still fighting against CHILD MARRIAGE FOR GIRLS and canvassing for the education of the girl child.

This is what Feminism is all about. In the words of CHIMAMANDA :
Feminism should be an inclusive party. Feminism should be a party full with different feminisms.”

This is one of the different FEMINISMS.


BokoHaram is a jihadist group based in Northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and Northern Cameroon. Upwards of 1.5 million people have been displaced in the violence.

Vesicovaginal Fistula, is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder (or vesico) and the vagina that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault.

Rectovaginal fistula is a medical condition where there is a fistula or abnormal connection between the the rectum and the vagina.

Love xoxo



I fell in love at the age of 10. It was not the normal kind of love. I fell in love with books. With literature. With writing. With spoken words. I fell in love with‪#‎ChimamandaNgoziAdichie‬

(I have always been a fan of books prior to that though. I loved and still love Jane Erye by Charlotte Bronte.)

And since then, I have devoured every part of her. From the purple colour of hibiscus – which I have read twice. To the sun that was half and yellow – which I have read twice also. I read Americanah with all heart and almost got converted to ‪#‎TeamNaturalhair‬(I’m seriously considering it – been considering that for almost a year though) . And learnt not to get chocked by The things around my neck. Her short stories and blogs have remained my daily companion. 

In 2004, I fell in love. I fell in love with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 

Follow my BBM Channel : C0016FD7F (For The Love Of Books : D ADRIELNALINE WAY)



How softly the rain fell that Monday morning when my water broke. Because I was used to the raging downpours of Lagos, this quiet patter calmed me, filled me with peace. My husband Omoregie was at work and so our neighbor took me to the hospital, my dress slightly damp, my heart full of expectation. My firstborn child.

The nurse on duty was Sister Chioma, a woman with an unsmiling face who liked to crack sharp-tongued jokes. During my last check up, when I complained about the backache brought on by my pregnancy, her retort was, “Did you think about backache when you were enjoying it?”
She checked my cervix and told me it was early. She encouraged me to walk up and down the ward.

“You must be happy that your first is a boy,” she said.

I shrugged. “As long as the baby is healthy.”

“I know you are supposed to wait until he is born to decide on a name but I’m sure you already have something in mind,” she said.

“I will name him Olikoye.”

“Oh.” She paused. “I didn’t know your husband was Yoruba.”

“He’s not. We’re both Bini.”

“But Olikoye is a Yoruba name.”

“Yes it is.”

“Why?” she asked. My contractions were slow. I told Sister Chioma to sit down and I would tell her the story.

My father’s first child was a girl. He said she was a loud squalling baby who grasped his finger with surprising strength, and he knew it meant she would be tough. But she died at the age of four months. The second, a boy, was not yet four months old before he died. Some people from my father’s family said my mother was a witch, eating her children, trading their innocent hearts in exchange for her own long life. But, at that time, other babies in our village in Edo were dying too. They got sick with watery shit and weak eyes. Some people said the diarrhea was punishment from God. The Christians prayed in church. The Muslims prayed at the mosque. The old people performed sacrifices. Still, babies died, and their tiny still bodies were wrapped in cloth and buried, and it seemed senseless that they had even been born at all.

It was 1985. My father was working as a driver at the Ministry of Health. He was in the general pool, a lowly position. One day, he picked up a visiting dignitary from the airport, dropped him at his hotel, and then discovered, lodged in the back seat of the car, a thick envelope of cash that had slid out of the man’s bag. He returned it immediately. The man was so pleased — and surprised—that he told the new Minister of Health about it. Two days later, the new Minister asked for my father. “I want you to be my driver,” The Minister said. “I value honesty.”

The Minister’s name was Dr. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti. He had big sleepy eyes and seemed to come from another time in the past when old-fashioned integrity was easy. His simplicity surprised my father. He was not interested in the usual carousing of the powerful, no late nights and drinking and trysts, and my father did not have to guard any secrets for him. He ate breakfast with his family every morning, and took walks with his wife in the evening, and played tennis with his children on weekends. He listened attentively, those half-closed eyes so intent that my father, at first, felt uncomfortable when they were trained on him.

The Minister asked my father about his family, and my father told him everyone was fine. The Minister asked how many children he had, and my father said none yet, but that his wife was pregnant and due in a few weeks. (My mother as pregnant with me.) Then the minister asked a question that startled my father. “How many of your children have died?”

My father stuttered and said, “Two, sir, but we are praying that it will not happen again.” The Minister told him it was good to pray, but there was something else he had to do. “Our children are dying of simple illnesses and that must stop. I want you to take me to your village. I have started a program in Lagos but I want to start others in different parts of the country. We will go to your village next week.” It took my heavy-tongued father a while to find his voice and say, “Yes sir.”

In my father’s village, the Minister walked around with his assistants, meeting people and asking them questions and listening to them. He showed women how to mix sugar and salt and clean water to give their children who had diarrhea and he told them about washing their hands with soap and he told them the Universal Primary Health Care center would be open in a month. Once it was open, every baby would receive vaccines.

He showed them photographs of bright-eyed babies in Lagos and he told them immunizations were like small precious gifts for babies. They cheered and clapped. In the eyes of the villagers, my father was a star. No minister had ever come to them before.

Who even knew that our small village existed? But my father kept telling them that he had done nothing, that it was the minister who insisted on coming. Years later, when my father told me the story, I could still see his eyes full of things I could not name.

“The Minister treated all of us like human beings,” he said. “Like human beings.”

It took mere moments. A baby’s small open mouth and a drop of liquid. A baby’s warm arm and a small injection. It took that to save the lives of the babies born that year in my village, and in the villages around us and those far from us, in Calabar and Enugu and Kaduna. It took that to save my life. I was born in 1986. I often tried to imagine myself being immunized, in my mother’s arms, in the new clinic the minister built. Women filled the passages. The treatment was free. At the other end was the family planning unit where nurse was talking to a roomful of women, sometimes making jokes that made them laugh. My mother joined them.

Years later, she told me that the reason I did not die was that small injection in my arm, but the reason I was able to go to school was family planning. My sister was born two years after me, and my brother two years after her, and my mother remembered the words of the family planning nurse who told her to “have the number of children that you can train well. Otherwise you will not be able to train even one of them well.”

Because of the Minister, my father came to know Nigeria well. The Minister went to other interior villages and towns, and my father drove him through the flat roads of the North and the undulating roads of the south. He followed the Minister to the clinics, watched him speaking, gesticulating, explaining, cutting ribbons to open health centers.

Everywhere they went, people followed the Minister. Some just wanted to touch him, to shake his hands. Others brought gifts. “No, no,” the minister said to my father, when he saw the yams and plantains and chickens. “Give it back to them. Tell them that they should keep it for me.”

I first met the Minister when I was six years old. I was in Primary One, and my father told him I came first in class and the Minister asked him to bring me to his house. I expected to wait in the kitchen, and felt awkward to be asked into the living room, into the sinking softness of the carpet and the smell of clean and new things. He appeared with his wife, both of them smiling. They gave me a book. A Childs Illustrated Book About The Body.

“Thank you, sir, thank you, ma,” I said, holding the book tighter than I had ever held anything in my young life.

Sister Chioma was squeezing my hand.

“So you knew him personally,” she said. “I finished nursing school the year he was appointed Minister.”

Her tone was different, less flat, more emotional. It was then I noticed that Sister Chioma, unsmiling, hard Sister Chioma, had tears in her eyes.

“It was because of Olikoye Ransome-Kuti that so many people in Nigeria did not die,” she said quietly, and I knew she had her own story about the Minister. Perhaps she would tell me the story later, or perhaps she would not, but it pleased me that we had a story in common.

“He was the best health minister this country has ever had,” she said, standing up and hastily wiping her eyes. My contractions were now shorter and sharper. Sister Chioma said it was perhaps time to push, and she got up to call the doctor.

Outside the rain continued to fall gently until Olikoye was born.

This story originally appeared in The Art of Saving a Life, a collection of stories about how vaccines continue to change the course of history, commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


Some of my relatives lived for decades in the North, in Kano and Bornu. They spoke fluent Hausa. (One relative taught me, at the age of eight, to count in Hausa.) They made planned visits to Anambra only a few times a year, at Christmas and to attend weddings and funerals. But sometimes, in the wake of violence, they made unplanned visits. I remember the word ‘Maitatsine’ – to my young ears, it had a striking lyricism – and I remember the influx of relatives who had packed a few bags and fled the killings. What struck me about those hasty returns to the East was that my relatives always went back to the North. Until two years ago when my uncle packed up his life of thirty years in Maiduguri and moved to Awka. He was not going back. This time, he felt, was different.

My uncle’s return illustrates a feeling shared by many Nigerians about Boko Haram: a lack of hope, a lack of confidence in our leadership. We are experiencing what is, apart from the Biafran war, the most violent period in our nation’s existence. Like many Nigerians, I am distressed about the students murdered in their school, about the people whose bodies were spattered in Nyanya, about the girls abducted in Chibok. I am furious that politicians are politicizing what should be a collective Nigerian mourning, a shared Nigerian sadness.

And I find our president’s actions and non-actions unbelievably surreal.

I do not want a president who, weeks after girls are abducted from a school and days after brave Nigerians have taken to the streets to protest the abductions, merely announces a fact-finding committee to find the girls.

I want President Jonathan to be consumed, utterly consumed, by the state of insecurity in Nigeria. I want him to make security a priority, and make it seem like a priority. I want a president consumed by the urgency of now, who rejects the false idea of keeping up appearances while the country is mired in terror and uncertainty. I want President Jonathan to know – and let Nigerians know that he knows – that we are not made safer by soldiers checking the boots of cars, that to shut down Abuja in order to hold a World Economic Forum is proof of just how deeply insecure the country is. We have a big problem, and I want the president to act as if we do. I want the president to slice through the muddle of bureaucracy, the morass of ‘how things are done,’ because Boko Haram is unusual and the response to it cannot be business as usual.

I want President Jonathan to communicate with the Nigerian people, to realize that leadership has a strong psychological component: in the face of silence or incoherence, people lose faith. I want him to humanize the lost and the missing, to insist that their individual stories be told, to show that every Nigerian life is precious in the eyes of the Nigerian state.

I want the president to seek new ideas, to act, make decisions, publish the security budget spending, offer incentives, sack people. I want the president to be angrily heartbroken about the murder of so many, to lie sleepless in bed thinking of yet what else can be done, to support and equip the armed forces and the police, but also to insist on humaneness in the midst of terror. I want the president to be equally enraged by soldiers who commit murder, by policemen who beat bomb survivors and mourners. I want the president to stop issuing limp, belated announcements through public officials, to insist on a televised apology from whoever is responsible for lying to Nigerians about the girls having been rescued.

I want President Jonathan to ignore his opponents, to remember that it is the nature of politics, to refuse to respond with defensiveness or guardedness, and to remember that Nigerians are understandably cynical about their government.

I want President Jonathan to seek glory and a place in history, instead of longevity in office. I want him to put aside the forthcoming 2015 elections, and focus today on being the kind of leader Nigeria has never had.

I do not care where the president of Nigeria comes from. Even those Nigerians who focus on ‘where the president is from’ will be won over if they are confronted with good leadership that makes all Nigerians feel included. I have always wanted, as my president, a man or a woman who is intelligent and honest and bold, who is surrounded by truth-telling, competent advisers, whose policies are people-centered, and who wants to lead, who wants to be president, but does not need to – or have to- be president at all costs.

President Jonathan may not fit that bill, but he can approximate it: by being the leader Nigerians desperately need now.

– Chimamanda Adichie is the award winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus, The Thing Around Your Neck and Americanah

HIDING FROM OUR PAST : Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

a scene from the movie
a scene from the movie

Before i put down the main article, let me tell you guys what happened last week Saturday…

“I woke up from the right side of my bed but ended my day on the left side. It was was 6a.m in the morning when i picked up my  phone and went to the Silverbird Cinemas website to check the movie listings for the day. I mean, I was more than sure HALF OF A YELLOW SUN was going to be there. I searched the site a million times and didn’t see anything, i was taken aback because the movie fans in Nigeria were practically waiting for April 25th/26th, the premiere date..  To cut the long story short, a friend of mine told me the movie premiere had been cancelled…I WAS SO SAD… But I’m not hear to discuss how i feel about the whole issue…. This is what Chimamanda, the author of the priceless book from which the movie was adapted has to say :


On the margins of my happy childhood, there was a shadow: the Biafran war. I was born seven years after it ended, and did not experience any material deprivations—I had a bicycle, dolls, books—but my family was scarred by it. In 1967, after massacres in northern Nigeria that targeted southeastern Igbo people, the southeast seceded and formed an independent nation called Biafra. Nigeria went to war to prevent the secession. By the time that Biafra was defeated, in 1970, at least a million people were dead, including my grandfathers—proud, titled Igbo men who were buried in the unmarked graves of refugee camps. My parents lost other relatives, and everything they owned. A generation was robbed of its innocence. The war was the seminal event in Nigeria’s modern history, but I learned little about it in school. “Biafra” was wrapped in mystery. At home, my parents spoke of it rarely and obliquely; I heard many stories about my grandfathers’ wisdom and humor, but few stories about how they had died.

I became haunted by history. I spent years researching and writing “Half of a Yellow Sun,” a novel about human relationships during the war, centered on a young, privileged woman and her professor lover. It was a deeply personal project based on interviews with family members who were generous enough to mine their pain, yet I knew that it would, for many Nigerians of my generation, be as much history as literature. In 2006, my publisher and I were braced for the Nigerian publication, unsure of how it would be received. We were pleasantly surprised: “Half of a Yellow Sun” became one of the best-selling Nigerian novels published in the past fifty years. It cut across different ethnic groups, started conversations, served as a catalyst for previously untold stories. I was heartened to hear from readers whose families had survived Biafra and those whose families had been on the Nigerian side.

But the Biafran war is still wrapped in a formal silence. There are no major memorials, and it is hardly taught in schools. This week, Nigerian government censors delayed the release of the film adaptation of “Half of a Yellow Sun” because, according to them, it might incite violence in the country; at issue in particular is a scene based on a historically documented massacre at a northern Nigerian airport. It is now up to the State Security Service to make a decision. The distributors, keen to release the film before it is engulfed in piracy, are hoping that the final arbiters of Nigerian security will approve its release. I find this absurd—security operatives, uniformed and alert, gathered in a room watching a romantic film—but the censors’ action is more disappointing than surprising, because it is part of a larger Nigerian political culture that is steeped in denial, in looking away.

Partly the result of an unexamined past and partly of the trauma of years of military dictatorship, a sustained and often unnecessary sense of secrecy is the norm in Nigerian public life. We talk often of the “sensitivity” of issues as a justification for a lack of transparency. Conspiracy theories thrive. Soldiers are hostile to video cameras in public. Officials who were yesterday known as thieves are widely celebrated today. It is not unusual to hear Nigerians speak of “moving forward,” as though it might be possible merely to wish away the unpleasant past.

The censors’ action is a knee-jerk political response, yet there is a sense in which it is not entirely unreasonable. Nigeria is on edge, with upcoming elections that will be fiercely contested, religion and ethnicity increasingly politicized, and Boko Haram committing mass murders and abductions. In a political culture already averse to openness, this might seem a particularly appropriate time for censorship.

But we cannot hide from our history. Many of Nigeria’s present problems are, arguably, consequences of an ahistorical culture. As a child, I sometimes found rusted bullets in our garden, reminders of how recent the war had been. My parents are still unable to talk in detail about certain war experiences. The past is present, and we are better off acknowledging it and, hopefully, learning from it.

It is sadly easy, in light of the censors’ action, to overlook the aesthetic success of the film. Its real triumph is not in its politics but in its art. The war is the background to the complicated romance of characters played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, both of whom give the most complex performances of their careers. As a flawed professor, Ejiofor is finally freed from the nobility that was central, and limiting, to his past major roles. Here, his range is breathtaking. Newton brings a nuanced blend of strength and vulnerability to a character for whom she eschews the vanity of a beautiful movie star. On the screen, their chemistry breathes. Cinema, Susan Sontag once wrote, began in wonder, the wonder that reality can be transcribed with such immediacy. Director Biyi Bandele’s eye is awash with magic, but also with a kind of nostalgia, a muted love, a looking back at a country to which this film is both a love letter and a rebuke.

Nigerians are sophisticated consumers of culture and, had the censorship board not politicized the film by delaying its release, I suspect that few people would have objected to it at all.


My dad is constantly full of stories of the war, stories that always leave me intrigued. I keep articles and scraps i lay my hands on, as long as it concerns the war. I remember reading the book ‘half of a yellow sun’, and wondering what it would be like if it were made into a movie. I wrote the names of all the characters and paired them up with the actors/actresses i felt would play the part well, this i did in 2006. Now you can imagine how elated i felt when i heard the book was finally being turned into a movie.

I waited impatiently for the date set for the premiere of this beautiful movie. However when the said date came, some forces in the name of censorship board made it impossible for the movie to be shown. This is a movie nobody should have objected to. I for one do not see why some bunch of people would use censorship as an excuse to prevent young people from knowing their history…….


Our story must be told…..



Beyoncé samples Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to feminism
The Nigerian writer’s impassioned words from TED talk used by pop diva Beyoncé on her new track ***Flawless

The Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie makes a surprise appearance on Beyoncé’s latest album, released on iTunes this morning, declaiming: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls ‘You can have ambition, but not too much’.”

The novelist’s intervention comes during the track ***Flawless, appearing as a series of samples from her impassioned TED talk, “We should all be feminists”.

During the speech, the Orange prize-winning author argues that differing expectations of men and women damage economic and social prospects in Nigeria, and more generally around Africa and the world.

Beyoncé has been particularly inspired by sections where Adichie explores attitudes towards marriage, sampling a passage where the novelist talks directly about aspirations.

Because I am a female, I am expected to aspire to marriage,” Adichie says. “I am expected to make my choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Marriage can be… a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?”

Another section sampled on ***Flawless argues that girls are raised “to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or accomplishments which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men”.

Beyoncé has also used lines from a part of the speech where Adichie queries parents’ attitudes towards young people’s sexuality:

“We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. If we have sons, we don’t mind knowing about our sons’ girlfriends, but our daughters’ boyfriends? God forbid. But of course when the time is right we expect those girls to bring back the perfect man to be their husband.

The pop diva quotes Adichie’s definition of a feminist as “a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes”.

Over the course of the 30-minute speech, the novelist argues that we do “a great disservice” to boys in how we raise them, putting them in the “hard cage” of masculinity; and that we do “a greater disservice” to girls.

“We say to girls, you should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten The Man.”

Adichie begins her talk by recalling a Nigerian childhood spent reading British and American literature which inspired her to write novels featuring African characters. Now it seems the writer’s words have themselves inspired an uptempo feminist anthem from one of the biggest names in pop music.

What more can i say? I’m impressed…

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