According to the Daily Telegraph, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing is “always has an elegant, accessible shimmer to it.” According to the New York Times Sunday Book Review she is “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young Anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature.” She has recently been featured on Beyonce’s surprise-record-breaking-outright-amazing new album.
Even before the Beyonce feature, she had made a name for herself in the literary world. Adichie is a recipient of the 2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book (overall) for Purple Hibiscus, the 2007 PEN Beyond Margins Award for Half of a Yellow Sun, and the 2008 Future Award –Nigeria- in the young person of the year category; just to name a few. Beyond her creativity she is a woman of immense intelligence having studied at Harvard University, Princeton University as well as John Hopkins University which have a history of only accepting the best of the best. A collection of this prestige and achievements is what led her to be speak at the TED talks, not only once but twice. Her first lecture “The Danger of a Single Story” is about how Africans should tell their own stories, and redefine themselves. The second lecture “We Should All Be Feminists” (see below), which has been famously featured on the album which is a call to feminism.
In the second lecture and many of her interviews, she says things that challenge your thought process. Things that make you question things that hadn’t really occurred to you at all. Adichie’s most redeeming quality is the fact that it is so easy for you to feel her genuineness. Listening to her you don’t question if she truly means what she is saying. In the much publicized song Flawless by Beyonce she quotes the Adichie at TED talks “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls ‘you can have ambition, but not too much.’” As a woman you can’t help but take everything she is saying and apply it to your own situations and life experiences. Beyonce did an amazing thing featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her album; hopefully more people will begin to preach her gospel.