I don’t remember that I’m famous when I’m with family – Chimamanda
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Award winning novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has said she does not remember that she is ‘famous’ when at home.

She has also opined that women judge other women more harshly blaming though on the patriarchal nature of the society.

Speaking on BBC News Programme, FocusOnAfrica, monitored on twitter, she said her family keeps her ‘normal.’

Hear her: “I have a wonderful family and that’s actually why I can be who I am. I was raised by the most wonderful parents who allowed me space to be who I am.

“I have a very close –knit circle of friends and then I have a wonderful daughter and her father is a wonderful man. So I have that support system and they keep me sort of normal. I don’t really remember that I am “famous” when I am at home.

“My brothers laugh at me and they are like; ‘people actually pay money to hear you talk? Why’? Or when I wear cloths I think are very lovely, my brothers will look at me and be like ‘what is happening’? So those things are good for me.”

Responding to a question on Africa, Chimamanda noted the story of the continent has largely been that of catastrophe but pointed out that things were changing. She insisted that Africa is dotted with a lot of talents and innovations.

“The larger narrative of Africa remains one of catastrophe, one of a place in need, but on the edges of that main narrative, things are changing.


“Some people are more willing to see Africa as a complex place it is, full of many, many problems, but also full of innovation and dreams and talents. So I think in general, I’m ever so slightly hopeful about the coverage of the continent.”

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Chimamanda, who has often been misunderstood over her position on feminism, also spoke about misogyny insisting that women judged each other more harshly.

“I think maybe one of the best illustrations is the kind of automatic hostility that people feel the minute the subject of feminism comes up. So people don’t want to engage with it. The idea of misogyny, that idea that women are somehow inferior, isn’t something that only men have. Women have it too. It’s like the air that we breathe. We all breathe in misogyny. So we all have to make the decision to un-breathe it.

“Women judge other women, particularly powerful women more harshly. But it is important to remember that it’s also a result of patriarchy. In the end who is benefitting? That’s the question. When women judge other women harshly, it’s men who are benefitting.”

She expressed confidence in the abilities of Danai Gurira who is writing the screenplay for the adaptation of her novel Americanah saying: “she is sublime. Her thinking is sublime. She has a fantastic mind.”


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