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Who is Chimamanda Adichie? Meet One of Nigeria’s Most Influential Authors

Chimamanda Adichie is a well-known Nigerian author. She was born on September 15, 1977. She was given the name Ngozi Grace Adichie at birth. Currently, she's 45 years old. Her output ranges from short stories and novels to works of nonfiction.

10 Facts About Chimamanda Adichie

  1. She is one of the most influential Nigerian authors.
  2. Her birth name is Ngozi Grace Adichie.
  3. She was born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria.
  4. She was born in 1977 and is 45.
  5. She is an advocate for the LGTBQ+ movement.
  6. James Nwoye Adichie and Grace Ifeoma Adichie are her parents.
  7. She is one of six children, with three brothers and two sisters.
  8. She’s married to a Nigerian doctor.
  9. She is a mother to a daughter.
  10. Her estimated net worth is $1.5 million.

Who is Chimamanda Adichie?

Chimamanda Adichie is a well-known Nigerian author. She was born on September 15, 1977. She was given the name “Ngozi Grace Adichie” at birth. Currently, she’s 45 years old. Her output ranges from short stories and novels to lengthy works of nonfiction. The literary supplement hailed her as the head of a line of promising new voices in English literature. The author’s full name is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Many novels have been written by her, but “Purple Hibiscus” has brought her the most attention. Her other works include “Half of a Yellow Sun,” “The Thing Around Your Neck,” “Americanah,” “We Should All Be Feminists,” “Zikora,” “Notes on Grief,” and “Dear Ijeawele.”

She was awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008 and the PEN Pinter Prize that same year.

She admitted that she came up with the name “Chimamanda” during an interview that was broadcast on Bounce Radio and conducted by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu as part of his Black Box Interview series. Chimamanda Adichie said “I made up the name; I invented the name Chimamanda. I created Chimamanda; my parents did not name me Chimamanda.”

“Growing up, I always felt that I was not Grace, that was my mother, and Ngozi felt too common to me. In primary school, I was Ngozi,” Chimamanda Adichie stated in the interview.

A national honors award that had been awarded to Chimamanda Adichie by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, was recently turned down by Adichie. Her assistant, Omawumi Ogbe, was the one to confirm the information but she did not provide any explanation for the choice. At the ceremony that took place on October 11, 2022, Chimamanda Adichie was scheduled to be presented with the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) Award. Her assistant stated that she did neither attend the event nor accept the prize, and that she did so in a “secret” manner.

Chimamanda Adichie followed in the footsteps of the late Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, who had turned down national honors on two separate occasions, once in 2004 and again in 2011. Chinua Achebe was presented with national honors by former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, both of whom he turned down. These accolades came in 2004 and 2011. His passing occurred in March of 2013. The Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka made the same decision in 2014 to turn down the centenary award that the Nigerian government had offered him.

Chimamanda Adichie Early Life

Chimamanda Adichie was nurtured in the Nigerian town of Nsukka, which is a university town. She was born in the city of Enugu. Her family is of the Igbo ethnic group. She is the fifth child out of a total of six.

Her mother, Grace Ifeoma Chikaodili Adichie, was the University of Nigeria’s first female registrar, while her father, James Nwoye Adichie, worked at the University of Nigeria as a professor of statistics. She is the author of Americanah. They lived in the same house on campus that the well-known author Chinua Achebe had previously called home.

Chimamanda Adichie Education

Chimamanda Adichie received a number of academic awards during her time at the University of Nigeria Secondary School in Nsukka, where she also graduated from her secondary education. She advanced her education by spending an additional year and a half at the university, where she studied medicine and surgery.

Chimamanda Adichie left Nigeria when she was 19 years old to attend Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. There, she studied Political Science and Communications.

She moved closer to her sister Uche, who was pursuing a career in medicine and was located in Coventry, Connecticut, so that she could attend Eastern Connecticut State University. In 2001, Chimamanda Adichie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University.

At Johns Hopkins University, where she studied creative writing for her master’s degree, she handed in her thesis in 2003. She earned a Master of Arts degree in African Studies from Yale University in 2008, and she was also granted a MacArthur Fellowship during the same year. During the 2005–2006 academic year, she attended Princeton University as part of the Hodder fellowship program.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has bestowed upon Chimamanda Adichie a fellowship for the 2011/2012 academic year.

Chimamanda Adichie is a recipient of sixteen honorary doctorates from some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world.

Chimamanda Adichie Career

In 1997, Chimamanda Adichie had a collection of poems published under the title Decisions, and in 1998, she had a play published under the title For Love of Biafra.

When Chimamanda Adichie was a senior in college and living in Connecticut, she wrote the short story “My Mother, the Crazy African.” The story begins during this time. In the book, the author discusses the difficulties that might arise when a person is forced to interact with two cultures that are diametrically opposed to one another.

The Purple Hibiscus is her very first novel. The novel was met with acclaim from reviewers all around the world; in 2004, it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and in 2005, the author was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. In addition, she had short stories published in the magazines Zoetrope: All-Story and Topic.

“Half a Yellow Sun,” Chimamanda Adichie’s second novel, was published in 2006. The title of the book was taken from the flag of a nation that did not last long, and it was set in Biafra. During the conflict, her grandfather passed away in a camp for displaced people, and she has stated that the book is a homage to him that she authored. Later, the novel was turned into a film that was directed by Biyi Bandele and premiered in 2004. The film starred Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandiwe Newton and was based on the book. The novel was selected as the one that should have been awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction in November 2020 by the general audience.

The novel “Americanah,” which is her third, came out in 2013. The book is an account of a young Nigerian’s experiences with racial issues in the United States. The New York Times deemed it worthy of inclusion on their list of the 10 Best Books published in 2013.  Chimamanda Adichie was not accustomed to being identified by the color of her skin when she was a little girl in Nigeria; this only started happening to her after she moved to the United States. Because of this, the book was able to receive the National Book Critics Circle Award, and it was also selected as the winner of the “One Book, One New York” program for 2017. Both of these honors were bestowed upon the book in 2017.

During the year 2015, Chimamanda Adichie served as a co-curator for the PEN World Voices Festival. Her subsequent book to be released was titled “Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions,” and it was published by her in March of 2017. She was moved to write the book after receiving a message from a friend who wanted guidance on how to instill feminist values in her kid. In the year 2020, she released the short novella titled “Zikora,” which dealt with issues of sexism and single parenthood.

Notes on Grief is the name of the memoir that she published in May 2021, and it was inspired by an essay that appeared in the September 2020 issue of The New Yorker with the same name. The memoir was written in response to the death of her father in the year 2020.

When Chimamanda Adichie was eleven years old, she read Chinua Achebe’s work Things Fall Apart, which was published in 1958. This was the source of her early inspiration. In addition to that, she mentioned Buchi Emecheta as another one of her influences. That Harmattan Morning, one of her books, was recognized as a winner of the BBC World Service short Stories Awards in 2002, and her short story “You in America” was a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing that same year.

Chimamanda Adichie was awarded one of the highest distinctions that can be bestowed upon an intellectual residing in the United States in April of 2017, when she was inducted into the 237th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. On October 7, 2017, she joined the organization as one of 228 new members.

Chimamanda Adichie Parents

Chimamanda Adichie is the fifth child of James Nwoye Adichie and Grace Ifeoma Adichie. She is also their last daughter.

Chimamanda Adichie Siblings

Chimamanda Adichie is one of six children, with three brothers and two sisters in addition to herself. She has five brothers and sisters: Uche Adichie, Ijeoma Adichie, Okechukwu Adichie, Chuks Adichie, and Kenechukwu Adichie.

Chimamanda Adichie Ethnicity

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a member of the Igbo tribe and she was born in Nigeria.

Chimamanda Adichie Religion

Chimamanda Adichie was brought up in a Catholic household, and even now, as an adult, she continues to uphold the beliefs and rituals of her childhood.

Chimamanda Adichie Husband

Ivara Alistair Esege, a Nigerian doctor living in the United States, is Chimamanda Adichie’s husband. They exchanged wedding vows in 2009.

Chimamanda Adichie Children

Chimamanda Adichie and her husband have a daughter together. She was brought into the world in 2016, and at this point she is six years old.

Chimamanda Adichie Social Media

Chimamanda Adichie can be followed on Instagram as @chimamanda_adichie and Twitter as @chimamandareal. She can also e found on Facebook with the handle @chimamandaadichie.

Chimamanda Adichie Net Worth

It is estimated that Chimamanda Adichie has a net worth of $1.5 million dollars.