10 things we learnt from Chimamanda Adiche’s new interview

by Chinwe Okafor

Renowned author, Chimamanda Adichie, sat down for a revealing exclusive interview with Chigozie Nwonwu of Olisa.tv, where she harped on a lot of issues relating to her personal life and career.

Here are a summary of 10 things we picked up from the interview:

1. She indeed has a problem with depression despite her controversial article that was taken down barely few hours after putting it up. But her depression isn’t the sit-at-one-place-sad type but the actual health condition that involved various symptoms. She has been battling it since she was a child.


2. The Guardian piece about her depression written by her was asked to be withdrawn on her request before it was published as she realized she was emotionally ready indeed to but was still published. She was completely unaware of the new development and only found out after she returned from her trip. She felt violated bout it.


3. The piece is about the paradox of depression, that it is often a kind of sorrow without a cause. That being depressed makes even the sufferer feel bad and guilty because you are thinking of all these people you love and who love you and who you now feel strangely disconnected from. The responses from it came both positively and negatively.


4. A lot of people thought the entire fiasco was a publicity stunt for a new book or a new body of work.


5. She gave Beyonce permission to use her Tedtalk for the song Flawless and was happy about it because she believes Beyonce is a cultural force for good, in general and feels its a shame that we live in a world so blindly obsessed by celebrity – “an actor or musician talking about a social issue should not be a reason for the press to pay attention to that issue, because they should pay attention to it anyway – but sadly it is what it is.”


6. As regards Feminism tied to the song, Chimamanda feels it is not a subject that will win one universal admiration as an entertainer and to make the choice she [Beyonce] did is admirable.


7. She is in the camp of Subversion because she does not believe that female sexuality needs to be clothed in ‘respectability.’ Male sexuality certainly doesn’t need ‘respectability’ to be valid and the same should be true of female sexuality.


8. Chimamanda’s Ted Talk on Feminism became more popular than any of her books after Beyonce featured it in her song but had major effect on the sales of Americanah which came out about the same time and was named the top 10 Best Books of the Year by the New York Times and won the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award


9. She isn’t too keen about being widely read. She is solely doing it for the passion despite having both critical and commercial success.


10. She receives only 10 percent of the offers she gets while on book tour as she doesn’t really like traveling because she finds it tedious and it slows her writing.

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