How Does A Heart Break Twice? – Chimamanda Adichie

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie and her late mother Grace Ifeoma Adichie

 

 

Chimamanda’s emotional tribute to her mother, Grace Ifeoma Adichie. (November 29, 1942 – March 1, 2021)

How does a heart break twice? To still be immersed in grief, barely breathing again, and then to be plunged callously back into a sorrow you cannot even articulate. How can my mother be gone forever, and so soon after my father? My warm, loving, funny, kind, quick-witted, beautiful mother. Unconditional supporter and cheerleader of her children, fun and funny, source of delicious sarcasm, style icon, so sharply observant she never missed a thing. She made history as the first female registrar of the University of Nigeria. She was a permanent board member of the Anambra State Basic Education Board ASUBEB. On Friday she was at work, in her ASUBEB office in Awka. Her lovely assistant Mimi said she seemed a bit tired. Still, back home after work, she walked the half mile to St. Paul’s Church for Stations of the Cross. On Saturday, she spent time in Louisa’s shop, outside the gate of our house in Abba, watching the cars and people on the dusty road.

On Sunday, her driver drove her to Mass. Sunday evening she was unwell. She was taken to a private hospital in Awka. We were worried, but a few hours later, she was better, sitting up, eating rice. On the phone I told her, “We love you, Mummy, try and rest.” The next morning, the doctor sent an update to say she was doing even better. But moments later, he took the sudden bewildering decision to transfer her to the Teaching Hospital, and she was hastily moved there. He claimed the Teaching Hospital had better facilities. “Do my children know I’m being transferred?” she is said to have asked. Two hours after she arrived at the Teaching Hospital, she died. It was March 1st, my father’s birthday.

How does a heart break twice? As the days have passed my disbelief has grown. This perpetual astonishment of grief: Did it really happen? My mother is gone forever? How is it possible?

We were planning for my father’s iyipu-akwa, to mark the end of the formal mourning period, and now I cannot believe that we are planning a funeral. Again.

How does a heart break twice? You discover emotions you cannot name. There is an emotion more hollow than sorrow. There is an acceptance drenched in disbelief. Language fails. Clichés come startlingly alive: the heart is truly heavy, it is no mere metaphor. The mornings so dark you cannot get up from bed, the erratic pulse, the anger, the surprise, the tiny moments of forgetting, the regrets, the doomed attempts at escape. But the pain is waiting. The pain is inescapable. The desperate longing to turn back time, just to see her again, hear her laugh one more time, hug and kiss her. Even if just to say goodbye, even if just to have the chance to say goodbye, to say thank you for everything you did for me and everything you were to me, to say I love you, again.

The questions. Why so soon? Why like this? Has the universe not given us our own fair share of pain for now?

To have loving parents, an entire life propped up by them, and in months to have it all end, so abruptly, with such unbearable finality. O kwerom edi.

So much laughter and teasing and jokes, the easy companionship, the stories told and retold, the time spent. Time. Time makes memories. And now that is what is brutally left. The shock. The sense of sinking, of surfaces giving way, of falling through forever. The world feels wrapped in gauze. Everything is hazy and unclear.

This is how a heart breaks twice, this feeling of being utterly lost.

Chimamanda Adichie Voted Women’s Prize For Fiction ‘Winner of Winners’

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

Renowned Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction ‘Winner of Winners’ for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun.

Chimamanda’s novel was voted winner over works by writers and authors including Zadie Smith, the late Andrea Levy, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain and Maggie O’Farrell, amongst others.

The award marks the culmination of the Prize’s year-long 25th-anniversary celebrations, forming a key part of Women Prize for Fiction’s Reading Women campaign.

In reaction to the award, Chimamanda in a video shared by Women Prize on their official Instagram Handle said she is really pleased and the award is such an honour.

“I’m really really pleased about being the Winner of Winners for a number of reasons. The first is that this is a prize that I really respect because I think this is a prize that has consistently brought very good literature to the forefront and has introduced really good books that might not have received the kind of recognition if not for this prize.

“So, to be the winner of Winners is such really, it’s clichéd to say it’s such an honour,” she said.

 

 

Adiche while sharing the news of her recognition on her Instagram handle said, “Thank you to @womensprize and thank you to every single person who read Half Of A Yellow Sun. This feels like a much-needed sliver of light in a dark year.⁣”

 

 

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Thank you to @womensprize and thank you to every single person who read Half Of A Yellow Sun. This feels like a much needed sliver of light in a dark year.⁣ ⁣ #Repost @womensprize ⁣ ・・・⁣ We are delighted to reveal that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been crowned your ‘Winner of Winners.’⁣ ⁣ You voted in your thousands and picked her novel Half of a Yellow Sun from 25 years of unforgettable ‪#WomensPrize‬ winning books. ⁣ ⁣ Tickets are now on sale for our LIVE Winner of Winners event with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Don’t miss out, link in bio to get yours 👉⁣ ⁣ 📸 @mannyjefferson ⁣ Make up: @adella_makeup⁣ ⁣ #chimamandangoziadichie #halfofayellowsun #americanah #womenwriters #weshouldallbefeminists

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She will be presented with a silver edition of the Prize’s annual statuette, known as the ‘Bessie’, which was originally created and donated by the artist Grizel Niven as part of the gift of an anonymous donor. The event is scheduled to hold online on December 6, 2020.

Popular Author Chimamanda Adichie Mourns Father, Says She’s Stranded In US

A file photo of Chimamanda Adichie
A file photo of Chimamanda Adichie

 

Popular author, Chimamanda Adichie has mourned her father who died after a brief illness on June 10.

Taking to Facebook on Saturday, she lamented that she can’t come into the country following the closures of the nation’s airports.

In her tributes, Adichie noted with pains that her heart is broken; stressing that she can’t belive writing about her beloved father in the past tense.

According to the novelist, the loss of her dad has profoundly changed her life, adding that “grief is a cruel kind of education”.

Chimamanda described her beloved father, James Adichie, as “Nigeria’s first professor of Statistics” who “studied Mathematics at Ibadan and got his PhD in Statistics from Berkeley, returning to Nigeria shortly before the Biafran War.”

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Continuing she said: “I am writing about my father in the past tense, and I cannot believe that I am writing about my father in the past tense. My heart is broken.

“Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn that your side muscles will ache painfully from days of crying. You learn how glib condolences can feel.

“Sleep is the only respite. On waking, the enormity, the finality, strikes – I will never see my father again. Never again. I crash and go under the urge to run and run, to hide from this.

“The shallow surface of my mind feels safest because to go deeper is to face unbearable pain. All the tomorrows without him, his wisdom, his grace.”

Why I Fell In Love With Chimamanda’s ‘Americanah’ – Lupita Nyong’o

 

Kenyan Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o says she’s in love with writer, Chimamanda Adichie’s novel, ‘Americanah’.

Nyong’o who is set to play a major role in the screen adaptation of the novel explained that she fell in love with the book because of Chimamanda’s unique ability to bring the characters to life.

“I was awestruck by her ability to capture such exquisite character in a way that made me laugh but also made me feel seen,” the actress said on Saturday, while addressing an audience in Lagos, Nigeria.

– My Ideal Man –

According to her, she had read other books by the writer – Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus and “both of them were incredible”.

This fueled her anticipation for the next book Americanah, which she pre-ordered long before its release in April 2013.

“I remember finishing the book and falling madly in love with Obinze… at this point, he’s like the standard man that I’m still looking for, but I just felt like this is a character that I would love to embody on screen because what I do is act and her characters were just so actable”.

Speaking further, Nyong’o noted that one of the things she feels privileged to do is to bring specificity to the African story.

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For her, the vague and generalised representations of Africa is a trend she hopes to see less of and that’s one of the reasons she’s excited to be among the cast of Americanah, as it is expected to be set in Nigeria.

“So, I’m here (in Lagos) to immerse myself and learn as much as I can in order to do the story justice,” she added.

The Black Panther actress said she “appreciates the warm welcome” so far in the country, among other things.

She was also excited to share some of the Igbo Language and Pidgin she had picked up in the course of her brief stay.

“Daalu o” (meaning thank you) .. she said, expressing her gratitude as the audience cheered her on.

Oscar-Winning Actress Lupita Visits Lagos For Adichie’s ‘Americanah’

Lupita Nyong'o (L) and Chimamanda Adichie greet guests at an event in Lagos on Saturday, February 22, 2020.
Lupita Nyong’o (L) and Chimamanda Adichie greet guests at an event in Lagos on Saturday, February 22, 2020.

 

Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o on Saturday was hosted by novelist Chimamanda Adichie in Lagos.

Nyong’o, famous for her roles in critically-acclaimed movies such as 12 Years a Slave and Black Panther, is in Nigeria to promote her screen-adaptation of Adichie’s novel, Americanah.

American subscription video-on-demand streaming service, HBO Max, gave a straight-to-series order for the Americanah project in 2019.

Nyong’o is set to star and also act as Executive Producer of the show.

Nyong’o’s Black Panther co-star, Danai Gurira, wrote the pilot and will serve as showrunner on the 10-episode limited series.

 

 

Chimamanda Adiche Makes British Vogue Magazine Cover

Photo Credit: Chimamanda Adichie/Instagram

 

Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie is among the 15 world-leading women featured on the September edition of British Vogue magazine.

The magazine is guest-edited by Duchess Meghan Markle and titled #ForcesForChange.

Other women on the cover alongside Adiche include South Sudanese model, Adut Akech; Somali Boxer, Ramla Ali; American Artist, Laverne Cox; Grownish TV Series Star, Yara Shahidi; New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden; women’s rights advocate Salma Hayek Pinault, among others.

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According to the British Vogue, the women on the cover of the September edition of the magazine were personally selected by the Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle.

The Duchess said in a statement that she had sought to steer the focus of the September issue, usually, the year’s most-read, to “the values, causes and people making an impact in the world today.

She reportedly spent seven months working with British Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Edward Enninful on the issue and took time to select the women to grace the cover of the magazine.

The Duchess of Sussex is the first guest editor of the September issue in the magazine’s 103-year history.

See the cover of the magazine below…

 

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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” – and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” – The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange

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Bookstores In Nigeria? Outrage Over French Journalist’s Question To Adiche

“Are there bookshops in Nigeria?” The question posed by a French journalist last week incensed acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

At an event held in a ritzy Paris government building under crystal chandeliers, Adichie launched a blistering assault on perceived French arrogance.

“I think it reflects very poorly on French people that you have to ask me that question,” said Adichie.

“My books are read in Nigeria. They are studied in schools. Not just Nigeria, across the continent in Africa.”

The subsequent outrage on social media was perhaps predictable: insults hurled at the French journalist amid accusations of racism and colonial prejudices.

Adichie wasn’t done yet. The novelist, who was born in Nigeria but now lives in the United States, followed up with a Facebook post the next day arguing that the bookstore question was “giving legitimacy to a deliberate, entitled, tiresome, sweeping base ignorance about Africa”.

But not everyone wholeheartedly agrees. “You can’t say there aren’t any bookstores or libraries in Nigeria, that’s ridiculous,” Tabia Princewill, a columnist told AFP.

“But they aren’t pretty, and they are often religious books or educational books. In public libraries, there are almost no books,” Princewill said.

“It’s shameful and it is not being anti-Africa to admit it.

“The African elite don’t want to face the reality.”

– Polarising question –

The bookstore debate is so polarising because it isn’t just about access to books, it’s also about the country’s troubled education system.

As the population of West Africa’s biggest economy explodes, the government is struggling to educate its 190 million people.

Nigeria has a 60 percent literacy rate, one of the lowest among frontier markets, according to investment banking firm Renaissance Capital in a Tuesday note.

There are vast regional discrepancies in the country, with the south boasting much higher literacy rates than the north, yet teacher quality and student attendance are perennial problems.

In her Facebook post, Adichie acknowledged the devastating effect of the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency on bookstores in the northeast.

She said her uncle had owned a store in Maiduguri, capital of northeast Borno State and birthplace of Boko Haram, but it had to close down when the city began to feel “too unsafe”.

While the north struggles to counter the fundamentalist ideology of the jihadists, whose name translates to “Western education is forbidden”, the south has its own issues.

Neighbourhood bookstores in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital with 20 million inhabitants, have to contend with patchy electricity, subsequent mould, and a market flooded with pirated books.

– Pirated books –

Still, some find a way. Kayode Odumosu has always loved books and at age 11, he started working at his school library.

In 1993, Odumosu opened Lagos Book Club in Festac, a small middle-class neighbourhood. His 3,000 second-hand books are stacked tightly next to one another on long metal shelves.

“I sell Shakespeare and all of Chimamanda’s novels,” he says with pride.

On a recent day in Jazzhole — the bookshop Adichie describes as her “favourite in Lagos” — the power is out and the air is muggy. There are biographies of Afrobeat king Fela Kuti next to books on Tehran and Venice.

Owner Kunle Tejuoso took over the family business in 1975. “Well before the birth of Chimamanda,” he said with some amusement.

The bookstore controversy doesn’t bother him much. “I’m used to it,” he said pragmatically. “When Westerners come to my shop they always have a little shock.”

For all Nigeria’s problems, books are an integral part of its culture, he said.

“The literary scene is exploding in Nigeria, we have a lot of new writers who make young people want to read.

“Our greatest challenge is the internet. In the past, young people weren’t so easily distracted,” Tejuoso added, articulating a problem that affects bookstores both in France and Nigeria.

AFP

I Don’t Want To Do Mediocre Work – Bimbo Akintola

Rubb Minds Bimbo AkintolaBeautiful Nigerian Actress, Bimbo Akintola, believes that she has stayed long enough in the Nigerian movie industry for her to be able to determine the kinds of movies she would feature in.

Appearing on Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television, Bimbo spoke about several issues about her life, her art and future plans.

Regarded by many as one of the most talented Nigerian actresses of all time, Bimbo has been away from the movie scene for some time and she said that her decision became important because there was need to be in charge of her career, as she did not feel it was important anymore to be everywhere.

“I want to do movies that mean something and touch people’s lives, I don’t want to do mediocre work”, she said, noting that her decision was not to imply that Nollywood was mediocre but that movie-making for her at her level must mean something beyond entertainment.

He said that while indeed the industry was moving in the right direction with the entry of more professionals, she believes that “the real direction is distribution”. She was of the view that the industry would grow better when Nigerian films get distributed to places where they are being appreciated with the real producers being the beneficiaries of the sales.

The controversies surrounding the censorship of the movie ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie, also came to the fore, with Miss Akintola being of the view that the clamp-down on the movie was ridiculous.

She believed that the essence of censorship was to create categories, explaining that ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ could have been classified as a movie for viewers aged 18 and above.

She admitted that there might indeed be sensitive scenes in the movie which the Censors Board was wary of for the sake of national unity but she noted that the attention being drawn to it makes the situation worse.

According to her, people could have gone to see the movie as a normal movie but the controversies about its scenes have created an air of curiosity which makes some people believe that there is something to hide in the history of Nigeria.

Of course Rubbin’ Minds got personal and Ebuka on this edition started with Bimbo’s relationship with Afrobeat artiste, Dede Mabiaku and the believe that Bimbo’s career took a downturn when she dated the musician.

Bimbo insisted that Dede was not to blame for her decision to take it slow in the business. She said that Dede remained her very good friend, whom she had no regrets dating. She said that Dede was a good person but Nigerians just love to blame him for things because of his “bad boy image” being an Afrobeat musician.

Her current relationship status came next and Bimbo admitted that she was in a relationship but maintained that she would not be coerced into marriage as it was an important aspect of human life that she could not afford to rush. She refused to disclose the identity of the man in her life or her marriage plans.

While many are craving her presence in the Box Office, Bimbo has been busy on Television with new TV shows and she spoke about her idea of cooking with children on television which she said was one of the ventures that give her joy as she is a lover of kids.

‘Hear Word’ the stage play is another of Bimbo’s passions which she has remained committed to.

The Theatre Arts graduate drew attention to the originality and depth of stage performances which gives her more fulfillment with her background in the arts.

The ongoing stage drama, ‘Hear Word’ holds at the Muson Center in Lagos every weekend, and it focuses on issues surrounding women and the girl child, another area which Bimbo has been greatly passionate about.

Bimbo Akintola has been doing movies as she wants her fans to know that her hiatus was based on the need to do things the right way and she boasted that when some of the movies she featured in are released, her fans would admit that they were worth it.

Bimbo had generous accolades for fellow actresses, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde and Genevive Nnaji who are quite younger to her but whom she is very proud of.

She singled out Omotola for having represented the good side of the women in the movie industry with her grace, talent and success in marriage; a combination she said many believe was impossible in the Nigerian movie industry.

 

Channels Book Club: Reginald Ofodile Shares Thoughts On ‘HOAYS’ Movie

channels book clubIn January 2007, Chimamanda Adichie released her novel, ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ which went on, that same year, to win the orange prize for fiction. The award is given annually for the best original full-length novel written by a woman in English; Adichie’s prize amounted to £30 000.

In 2013, UK based novelist and playwright, Biyi Bandele directed the adaptation of half of a yellow sun into a drama film. The film is a love story that follows two sisters who are caught up in the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war.

The movie which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji and OC Ukeje, first premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. On Saturday, 12th of April, 2014, the movie premiered to the excitement of both the entertainment and literati communities in Lagos.

In this edition of the programme, Reginald Ofodili, who featured in the movie and who is also the author of the novel titled, ‘Thou Shalt Not’, discussed the Half of A Yellow Sun movie, novel, Chimamanda Adichie, Biyi Bandele and related things.

Also, we featured an interview with 15 year old Nigerian writer, author and singer, Precious Udo.

Genevieve to starr in Chimamanda Adichie’s movie

Top Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji has been selected to feature in the big screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Half of a Yellow Sun”.

Genevieve will be joined by other stars such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dominic Cooper, Anika Noni Rose and Thandie Newton in the eagerly anticipated film.

According to her publicist, the actress cum singer will play the role of Ms Adebayo, a professor who develops a flirtatious relationship with her colleague Mr Odenigbo (Ejiofor).

Half of a Yellow Sun will be produced by  British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA, winning producer, Andrea Calderwood and directed by Biyi Bandele.

Chimamanda’s half of a yellow sun novel centers on the Nigerian civil war and was published in 2006.