Chimamanda Adichie, a novelist-cum-feminist, says she doesn’t think herself an ambassador of Nigeria, adding that she detests certain things about her country.
The 42-year-old author was speaking to TheAfricaReport on her convictions about colonialism, politics, and pop culture when she was asked if her global brand stands in as an ambassador for Nigeria.
“No. I am an ambassador for myself. I don’t represent Nigeria; there are things about Nigeria I don’t like. But, at the same time, I am very very proud of my Nigerian identity,” Adichie said.
“I was born and raised in Nigeria, which I didn’t leave until I was 19. I’m proud to be Nigerian, I’m proud to be African, I’m proud to be Igbo. I won’t who I am today if I wasn’t all of those things.”
The novelist, who divides her time between Nigeria and the United States, while traveling the globe, also opened up on why she initially refused an American passport.
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“For a long time, I didn’t want to become a US citizen because I believed that part of the experience of being Nigerian is experiencing the humiliations of traveling on a Nigerian passport,” she added.
“But I changed my mind about US citizenship after my father was kidnapped in 2015 and it was the American embassy in Lagos and not the Nigerian government who helped my family.
“They even sent a therapist to my father after he was released. I now plan to become an American citizen at some point, but I guess I’m still delaying it.”
In March, Adichie had made headlines after she, once again, denied the plagiarism claimsof Anne Giwa-Amu, a Welsh author and lawyer, with respect to her 2006 novel ‘Half of A Yellow Sun’.
She has earned huge recognition for her works, which have been translated into several languages, receiving the United Nations Foundation’s Global Leadership Award in 2019.