The multi award-winning author, speaker, fashion and feminist icon, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, on November 20, received a Global Leadership award from the United Nations Foundation. She is the first Nigerian, first African woman and youngest African to receive the prestigious award.
The Half Of A Yellow Sun author was spotlighted and honoured by the foundation “for her work using literature and storytelling to connect with people across generations and cultures on issues of gender and racial equality”.
The UN Foundation was founded in 1998 by American media proprietor and philanthropist, Ted Turner, off his belief in the UN’s necessary capabilities in addressing humanity’s most topical challenges, while helping to drive global progress. The foundation under the Global leadership category, has in the past honoured global trailblazers like Oprah Winfrey, Koffi Annan, Former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
It is a duly deserved honour. Chimamanda has remained a strong voice and influence on gender equality, race politics and literature. Her feminist writings are widely read and made recommended reading in many institutions. Her annual creative writing workshop, now in its 10th year, has empowered a number of successful African writers.
Chimamanda has been able to gain this footing, through her stunning ability to conceptualize and refract her ideas on the biggest and smallest subjects, with an accessible fearlessness and palpable honesty. This award would certainly cap off what has been a terrific year for the literary giant.
In August, she was featured on the cover of British Vogue’s “Voices Of Change” issue guest-edited by the duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle. In September, her groundbreaking novel “Americanah” was picked up by HBO for a limited series. This year, she also received honorary degrees from Yale, Georgetown University, American University, Northwestern University and several others.