Bestselling Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, clocked 40 on Friday.
Born into a family of academics, she began writing at an early age, leaving Nigeria to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA at the age of 19.
She later transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University to be near her sister, who had a medical practice in Coventry, where she received a bachelor’s degree with the highest distinction in 2001.
In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, while in 2008 she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.
Chimamanda’s second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), named after the flag of the short-lived nation of Biafra, is set before and during the Nigerian Civil War.
It received the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.
To celebrate the author and feminist, we present 10 quotes from her most famous book.
- Tribe, as it is today, is as colonial a product as nation and race.
- How can we resist exploitation if we don’t have the tools to understand exploitation?
- How much did one know of the true feelings of those who did not have a voice?
- There are some things that are so unforgivable that they make other things easily forgivable.
- You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me? Your life belongs to you and you alone.
- Red was the blood of the siblings massacred in the North, black was for mourning them, green was for the prosperity Biafra would have, and, finally, the half of a yellow sun stood for the glorious future.
- The real tragedy of our postcolonial world is not that the majority of people had no say in whether or not they wanted this new world; rather, it is that the majority have not been given the tools to negotiate this new world.
- If this is hatred, then it is very young. It has been caused, simply, by the informal divide-and-rule policies of the British colonial exercise. These policies manipulated the differences between the tribes and ensured that unity would not exist, thereby making the easy governance of such a large country practicable.
- I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.
- It has been caused, simply, by the informal divide-and-rule policies of the British colonial exercise. These policies manipulated the differences between the tribes and ensured that unity would not exist, thereby making the easy governance of such a large country practicable.