Award-winning novelist Chimamanda Adichie says she is not okay with German chancellor Angela Merkel’s tenure winding down after 16 years.
The Half of a Yellow Sun writer expressed her concern as guest speaker at the Düsseldorf’s Schauspielhaus theater last Wednesday. Journalists and entrepreneurs were also at the event.
Chimamanda said the post-Merkel era equates with uncertainty. “If she’s okay with leaving, I’m not okay with her leaving. I’m worried about what will happen to Europe! I’m worried that Europe will fall apart because she will not be there to hold things together,” she said.
The women covered topics like democracy, feminism, race, art, fashion, and social media. Merkel made headlines when she declared “Yes, I’m a feminist.”
On social media, Chimamanda said that although social media can be used to spread information “it can also be very dangerous in keeping us from truth,” adding that some persons go on social platforms to cause conflict.
Her advice for creating an informed electorate was that people need to read more. “When I say read, I don’t mean read text messages or tweets,” she noted. “I mean, read something that is continuously long and makes sense, that is punctuated and has good grammar.”
In her opinion, Merkel said it takes more than politics for democracy to thrive. “We cannot order others to do this. Good politics can stimulate, but we cannot force democracy. If everyone decides to break traffic rules, we cannot make everyone a police officer. The constitutional democracy lives off the fact that it has a high degree of acceptance among its people and this acceptance has to be learned by every new generation” she said.