Here's all that went down at the evening with the renowned author
Tickets for the event sold out in minutes but we've got you covered with the breakdown of all that happened.
On September 22, Americanah author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who was recently featured on the cover of Chinese Vogue was hosted by her Nigerian publishers, Narrative Landscape Press in Lagos. The event took place on September 22 at The Workstation, 7 Ibiyinka Olorunbe Close, Victoria Island.
The gathering, themed "An Evening With Chimamanda", centred around candid conversations about her two most recent books, We Should All Be Feminists (2014) and , or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (2016) and also had Chimamanda spilling secrets about recent and upcoming projects.
Many of the people seated in the fully packed room were nervous about meeting her. The event, which was supposed to start by 3 pm, started over an hour later which had most of the people even more anxious. Of the population, some hoped that by the end of the night they would have a picture with her, a book signed and a satisfied smile on their faces as they exited the hall.
In the crowd were fans and notable names, such as Okechukwu Ofili, founder of Okadabooks;Denola Grey, fashion consultant and actor; Jite Efumuaye, editor of Farafina print; Adebayo Oke-Lawal, creative director of Orange Culture; and Ifeoma Fafunwa, talented theatre artist and director.
When she did arrive, all grudges that came from waiting for close to two hours flew out the window. The host, Franchesca Uriri, was an elegant, well-spoken, Farafina alumnus, one of the many in the room. She addressed the crowd and gave a brief introduction of the author, before proceeding with the event.
Adichie looked stunning, and of course, the first question was about her outfit. When asked about how she feels to have been sampled by Dior, she made funny faces and said it's great that Dior sends her clothes and she gets to have tickets to whatever event she wanted.
Everything she said elicited a laugh. Not only because it was a room full of her fans, what else do you expect? but because she is actually quite humourous.
A fan asked her when next she was dropping another fiction novel, she said she honestly didn't know, because she as spending all her time browsing the Internet for Nigerian fashion designers. This addresses her Project "Wear Nigerian", a movement that has her populating her Instagram page with talented outfits from Nigerian designers. She said she makes an effort to buy Nigerian outfits even though she's open to some free clothes as well.
Following recent controversies around things she had said in the international media, she was asked and addressed several topics concerning feminism.
She gave her definition of feminism, which she said is the dictionary definition and not what any old textbook says.
"Feminism is not about women wanting to be men, I’m very happy to be a woman, it's about creating equal opportunities for both men and women. We’re saying Gender should not be a reason to hold people back."
On Chivalry, she said: "Chivalry is a fundamental idea that women are lower than men. Let’s hold the door for people because we are being polite and courteous, not because of the gender involved."
She also addressed bride price, which she said she is not completely a fan of, even though she loves and respects Igbo culture a great deal. She said money ruins things, and the idea of someone being bought is dangerous both for the man and the woman.
She also said that feminism is beneficial to men and women, but even though men should be feminists, they shouldn't then try to lead or own the conversation since they don't experience the "struggles" first hand. She addressed the issue of men trying to tell women what they should speak or be angry about, saying that issues like "washing plates" should not be referred to as trivial as they are issues that affect day to day lives.
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Finally, some tea: Fans of Adichie's literature will be happy to know that Americanah was optioned for a film by Lupita Nyong'o, even before she was famous. Lupita will also be playing the main character, Ifemelu, which Chimamanda is absolutely happy about, so no online campaigns okay? Americanah will also be made into a series, not a movie and the script is being written by Danai Gurira, Black Panther star. Adichie is coming on as a consultant for the series, and will get a say on the cast and little details like getting the Igbo nuances and accents right, which she is most concerned about.
Some shade: When fans asked if she would insist on getting Nigerians cast for the roles in the upcoming Americanah series, she said she doesn't think it is absolutely necessary for an Igbo person to play an an Igbo role, it all depends on the accent coach. However, she would *try* to get "some Nigerians cast.... talented Nigerians." Who was she throwing shade at?
More tea: Chimamanda does not know where Kainene, a fictional character from the novel Half of a Yellow Sun, is. "Kainene" literally means "let us be watching", aptly named for a character who goes missing at the end of the novel (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!). She says that she used that character to try to make the readers feel what she felt after she heard the heartbreaking story of a woman who still searched for her son, seventeen years after the civil war had ended. I guess she succeeded.
We hope you enjoyed this breakdown, and if you still feel bad about missing the event, gear up for the November event which promises to be even bigger!
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