Yesha Callahan

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Speaks About Feminism, Fashion and Family with Vogue UK


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is featured in Vogue UK’s April edition and discussed everything from being a celebrity to Selma’s Oscar snub. The author of  Americanah and  Half of a Yellow Sun, who currently resides in Columbia, MD with her husband, sat down with journalist Erica Wager and proved that she’s an open book.

Adichie, whose TED talk about feminism was featured on Beyoncé’s “Flawless,” says she thinks Beyoncé is a force for good.

“I am a person who writes and tells stories. That’s what I want to talk about. There’s an obsession with celebrity that I have never had. But the one thing I will say is that I really do think Beyoncé is a force for good, as much as celebrity things go. I know there has been lot of talk in the past year about how feminism is ‘cool’ now, but I think if we are honest, it’s not a subject that’s easy. She didn’t have to do this, she could have taken on, I don’t know, world peace. Or nothing at all. And I realize that so many young people in our celebrity-obsessed world, well, suddenly they are thinking about this. And that’s a wonderful thing.”

On the subject of Selma, the Nigerian writer says she was furious when she found out it was snubbed, and it speaks to the larger issue of race in the U.S., especially after the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson.

“I took that very personally. It’s almost a slap in the face for a person who wants to believe in some kind of progress; 2014 was such a difficult year for America and race…

…Even when I’m not in the US, I follow what’s going on, I’m very emotionally invested. And I find myself thinking that maybe I’ll write an essay about it: looking at the idea that there’s something similar in the way that American society looks at black men who commit crime and women of any colour who report a rape. And I think the similarity is that you are expected to be perfect and pure before you can get any sympathy, any human empathy. ‘Well, the kid stole cigarettes, so he asked for it, right?’”

When it comes to feminism, Adichie is sure to put a person in their place, when they attempt to put her in hers:

“The oppression of women, she says, “Makes me angry. I can not be angry. I don’t know how you can just be calm. My family says to me, ‘Oh, you’re such a man!’ – you know, very lovingly… But of course I’m not, I just don’t see why I shouldn’t speak my mind.” She got into trouble for speaking her mind in Nigeria: when an interviewer addressed her as Mrs Chimamanda Adichie, she corrected him, saying she wished to be known as “Ms”, which the journalist reported as “Miss.” Her insistence on her own family name was all over the news here last spring. She should be happy to be addressed as “Mrs”, she was told, since she was, after all, married. She laughs now, but it’s clear the story still disturbs her. “It was the lack of gratitude on my part for having a husband. And yet I didn’t want to proclaim it: I wanted to claim my own name.”

To read more of Adichie’s interview, visit Vogue UK.

Image credit: Akintunde Akinleye

  1. March 16, 2015 - Reply

    Sister Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a very intelligent woman. She has every right to speak her mind to discuss about the important social issues of our age.

    • March 16, 2015 - Reply

      “Sister Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Born: September 15, 1977 (age 37), Enugu, Nigeria” well the sister certainly have the right however she was not even born here less more is not old enough to have first hand knowledge on when and how it effected the AA community. By her own words she admitted once she arrived here in America she had very little interest in the AA civil rights struggle and movement and how it effected our life she like most so call experts only know and AA and feminist by what they read in a book written by white supremacy college professors which is very very flawed at best.

      • March 16, 2015 - Reply


        She is a young person being 37. She is a very intelligent person and she knows how to write literature. The civil rights movement has a long history. The modern beginnings of the civil rights movement came about during the 20th century when lynching occurred in a massive level, and Jim Crow apartheid existed. The civil rights movement existed heavily from grassroots organizing among men, women, and children who were fed up not only with white racist oppression, but with the status quo.

        The events of Selma (which is about the fight for the legal enfranchisement of black Americans and for the human rights of people to be respected) represented the end of the early era of the modern civil rights movement. All human beings can learn something since learning is a life long process. Our ancestors lived this. Our parents and grandparents suffered Jim Crow first hand. Virginia is home to tons of activists from Ella Baker to others. One lesson in life is growth. We only want her to growth and to further understand the experiences of the African American community in a higher level.

        Also, we (as black Americans) can’t be egotistical (as some people in the USA have huge egos. LOL) and claim to have all knowledge. We must study the black African Diaspora too. I recently looked at information about black people in Australia via a website. There are Afro-Turks and black people globally that we should know about. Therefore, pan-African unity is very important for us to promote. I have no ill will towards Sister Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We’re all learning. In the future, she might surprise you.

      • March 17, 2015 - Reply


        Ms. Adichie wrote in the book “Americah” the exact opposite statements. Also watch Youtube tp see Zadie Smith and Ms. Adichie speak on black Americans.

        • March 17, 2015 - Reply


          ok will do!

  2. March 17, 2015 - Reply

    Love the chair, she is sitting in.

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