Famed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie recently celebrated her thirty-ninth birthday. Yes she’s just on the cusp of forty. This was on the fifteenth of September 2016 to be precise.

In honour of her growth in the literary world and her growth in age, we’ve put together some of the most insightful things she’s ever said.

Here are the top ten quotes from the great writer we’ve put together:

1. I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.

This one seems true enough.

2. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

This is so true about why foreigners perceive Africans they way they do.

3. Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it.

Very few people would agree with her on people not getting a cookie for reducing racism. It’s a menace and its worth reducing.

4. Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.

Mmmm. Strong taste. A lot of women need to take a cue from this – never drop your standard for any man.

5. Why did people ask “What is it about?” as if a novel had to be about only one thing.

True this. But was wondering if there isn’t always a dominant theme?

6. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanise. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.

Deep this. Just deep.

7. There are some things that are so unforgivable that they make other things easily forgivable.

Punching me in the face sure makes a simple push forgivable.

8. …my point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe… I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.

Safe to say we know where her tribal sympathies lie.

9. Relaxing your hair is like being in prison. You’re caged in. Your hair rules you. You didn’t go running with Curt today because you don’t want to sweat out this straightness. You’re always battling to make your hair do what it wasn’t meant to do.

Because we couldn’t have one without hair. And I totally get the connection. Can’t you? Hair——-prison.

10. You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.


Author: Ekpeki Donald Pen Prince

Ekpeki Chovwe Donald styled the PenPrince is a writer and lawyer in equity. He has an unhealthy interest in wit, pun and poetry. When he’s not writing, he’s reading and when he’s not reading, he’s breathing. He breathes words.