Women & Children

Chimamanda Adichie – Africa’s Most Influential Woman

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was named as the new face of Boots No 7 beauty range, Tuesday , further securing her position as one of the most influential African women in the world .

The move is more than a meaningless celebrity endorsement. Adichie ’ s love of makeup is no secret: “ I love make-up and its wonderful possibilities for temporary transformation and I also love my face after I wash it all off , ” she said in a statement published in British Vogue .

Adichie has not hidden her issues with the beauty industry. Like many women of color in the spotlight , she has previously admitted to carrying her own foundation with her at all times , in case the makeup artist does not have her shade.

She has also spoken about the false promises peddled to women to world over . “ I think much of beauty advertising relies on a false premise — that women need to be treated in an infantile way, given a ‘fantasy’ to aspire to…” she said in an interview with British Vogue .

“ Real women are already inspired by other real women, so perhaps beauty advertising needs to get on board.”

The public seem to think Boots got it right with Adichie , choosing someone that is both relatable and influential.

We should all be feminists : on stage , on the catwalk , in schools

When Adichie talks , people listen , quote her in songs , print her words on T- shirts and send her words to every 16 – year – old in Sweden .

Beyoncé Knowles quoted Adichie ’ s TEDxEuston speech ‘ We Should All Be Feminists ’ so heavily in a single named Flawless, that she named her a contributing artist.

While Adichie was not too impressed with some of the reactions to the citation — people expected her to say Beyoncé made her career — she did eventually acknowledge it , stating it as a different type of feminism to hers, but adding that both are effective.

More recently Adichie ’ s words appeared on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week. Italian fashion designer and Dior ’ s first ever female creative director , Maria Grazia Chiuri , had the words ‘ We should all be feminists‘ on a T- Shirt in her ready- to -wear SS17 collection.

Adichie was also front row at the show, and her speech was included in the soundtrack .

In the world of education , Adichie has also made her mark . In December 2015 , the Swedish Women’ s Lobby and publishing house Albert Bonniers launched a campaign gifting Adichie ’ s We Should All Be Feminists speech to all high schools in Sweden .

A third book written by Adichie is being made into a film, her short story “ The Thing Around Your Neck ” that’ s being adapted by Ghanaian filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu .

To the first lady with love

Politically, Adichie is finding her voice too . This month Adichie wrote a moving thank you note to First Lady Michelle Obama in a New York Times piece, alongside feminist Gloria Steinem , author Jon Meacham and actress Rashida Jones.

“ Women, in general , are not permitted anger , ” she wrote candidly .

“ But from black American women, there is an added expectation of interminable gratitude, the closer to groveling the better, as though their citizenship is a phenomenon that they cannot take for granted.”

She was also called on to write an op- ed for the same publication on Nigeria ’ s failed promises , in which she documents her thoughts on Buhari’ s rise to power and presidency, in which she stated : “[ Buhari] had an opportunity to make real reforms early on , to boldly reshape Nigeria ’ s path. He wasted it .”

Views on motherhood

This summer Adichie announced she was the mother of a baby girl . Private as she is, the public have been keen to learn from Adichie , prompting her to release her feminist manifesto on how to raise a child — a letter of fifteen suggestions written as though to a friend who has recently given birth .

“ Teach her to reject likeability, ” she writes . “ Her job is not to make herself likeable , her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people . ”

Ending with a humble acknowledgment of her position as a source of endless guidance : “ Do you have a headache after reading all this ? Sorry. Next time don ’ t ask me how to raise your daughter feminist. ”
Culled from CNN


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