Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie left students with a feeling of awe while delivering a motivating speech at Harvards pre-commencement Class Day festivities.
Speaking on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Adichie talks about leadership telling students to "bend toward the side of truth."
“At no time has it felt as urgent as now that we must protect and value the truth,” she said to the audience in Tercentenary Theatre. “The biggest regrets of my life are those times when I did not have the courage to embrace the truth.”
Telling the truth doesn’t mean loudly judging others or starting arguments, and it doesn’t mean that life always works out, because it doesn’t, she cautioned.
The Harvard College Senior Class Committee has invited a guest speaker for Class Day since 1968. Prior to that, the honor was given to University affiliates, such as deans, faculty, or classmates.
Late Martin Luther King Jr was the first individual to speak at the Class Day after accepting the invitation shortly before his assassination.
Ngozi Adichie was recently honoured with an honorary degree from the prestigious Duke University. Chimamanda was among the few recipients of the honorary degree from the university and they were all described as people making changes in the world in very extensive ways.
"Few writers have captured the challenges of immigrants and others navigating those changes as Adichie,” the university said.
The Nigerian-born writer is known for novels including "Purple Hibiscus," and "Half of a Yellow Sun."