CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE: “People are my inspiration”

januari 30-2014 | Skandik Afrik | People and Events

She tells the story of Africa as it should be told! Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie the author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah was invited by Gothenburg International Film Festival as a guest speaker in a seminar.  Kenneth Fagbe and Gloria Matuka interviewed her to know what she feels about Scandinavia audience, African in diaspora, feminism…history


Skandik Afrik - How best do you think that Africans will have a fair share of history?

Chimamanda N. Adichie - We as africans have to tell our stories. We already have the fair share of history but the stories have not been told because other people told the stories first. So at the end, it will be the history we remember and not that we agreed, that something happened because some people have said that it happened. We need to tell the stories ourselves, from Africa by Africans. It is going to take a critical mass of people telling the stories, researching about their home towns, writing about it and if they cannot write it, tell someone else to write it. The way that largely the history we learnt in secondary school in Nigeria is still very much the kind of history from the British perspective and the sad part is that Africans, especially Nigerians do not have sufficient interest in their own history. Though this observation will fit mostly for Africans living in Africa

Skandik Afrik- When writing your books, where do you get inspiration from? (Is it from personal experience)

Chimamanda N. Adichie - It depends. I write more about other people and not about myself. There is nothing much to write about myself. I write about many things. I do observe a lot and do character sketches to make up my stories.

Skandik Afrik- How would you describe Scandinavian people and the Africans you met in Sweden?

Chimamanda N. Adichie - The Africans l met in Sweden, Oh!  l love them. I love my readers a lot. There is a kind of a joy being alive. I effortlessly felt like part of Scandinavia.

Skandik Afrik- You categorized yourself as a feminist yesterday at the seminar when you said "it would take at least 50 years to build a balanced gender society!"  How do you think the world can achieve this?

Chimamanda N. Adichie - By raising boys and girls the same. We need to pretend there are no such things as gender. We need to change it so that our differences are only physical, so that at the end, women and men can have the same choices. We should raise kids irrespective of their gender that they can become CEOs or whatever they desire to achieve in life. There are lots of women out there that ended up not doing what they really loved because they have been told they couldn't

Skandik Afrik- Half of a Yellow Sun Film ticket was sold within a considerably short time in Sweden. The people came out en mass to see you, how do you feel?

Chimamanda N. Adichie - Everywhere l go, there are Nigerians and Africans. I identify very strongly with Africans and it is a very beautiful feeling. Am very grateful that my work is recorgnised all over the world, and that its being appreciated by my own people,  it's a very beautiful thing. I was really happy to see everyone there at International Film festival Seminar.

Skandik Afrik-What advice would you give to Africans in diaspora?

Chimamanda N. Adichie - Stop apologizing for being who you are

Skandik Afrik-You will be in Denmark, Copenhagen on 19th of May 2014, what should the Danish people be looking forward to?

Chimamanda N. Adichie - I am going to promote the Danish edition of my novels.

Skandik Afrik- Apart from the book you wrote like Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americana, which other book will you recommend for African descendants or Scandinavians that want to dig further into African  values and histories

Chimamanda N. Adichie -I will recommend Lola Soleye(Nigerian) "the secret lives of Baba Segi's wives", Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenyan), "One day l will write about this place" is a very beautiful memo, Chika Unigwe (Nigerian) ,She wrote about Nigerians in Europe " On black sisters Streets" and many more. These are few of the more contemporary ones instead of the older ones like Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka which everyone knows about.

Sharing with you some of the memorable pictures we took during the interview

Chimamanda N. Adichie with Kenneth during the interview

Chimamanda looking through Skandik Afrik magazine


Interview conducted by: Kenneth Fagbe & Gloria Matuka

Photograph by :Nissor Addourazakov

Skandik Afrik ( info@skandikafrik.com )


2014-02-07 03:40:14 | Francis

More uodate pls

Even though this site is not updated on daily basis. I have to commend Skandik Afrik for thorough and quality job. Improve on it and uodate more. You have done a great job with this Chimamanda interview.

2014-02-07 01:21:38 | Josefin

Will check out the books

I will check some of these books she recommend as soon as possible to know more about African history

2014-02-05 23:42:00 | Teddy

It can't be better, Its perfect

That hair suite her so good. I wish other African women will learn something from her that all these fake identity they go around with in these Europe

2014-02-03 20:09:44 | John

Simple & Impressive

Very simple and impressive answer from Chimamanda. Like it

2014-02-01 00:06:29 | Rose

I missed the seminar

She is great ambassador of that continent with great value. I missed the seminar but very happy l could read it here

2014-01-31 22:40:46 | Sanna

Really great job!

Especially like her for promoting Africans to tell the stories of Africans for better representation and understanding for the countries. Really nice to let her share some reading recommendations too! To do list next!

2014-01-31 21:28:26 | Tosin

She has it all

She in not only beautiful, she is also very intelligent. I like her style and have a lot of respect for her.

2014-01-31 17:33:18 | Karl


This woman is beautiful. Or what do you people say?

2014-01-31 14:14:25 | Chris

any tips

I am also looking for tickets for two. Too bad it is finish. Any tips from anyone that want to sell is welcome

2014-01-31 12:11:38 | half a yellow sun


Tickets can be found at Gothenburg international film festival though I think they a all sold out. Last screening is this sunday

2014-01-31 10:02:50 | Thomas

Want to buy ticket

Where can l get tickets to watch half of a yellow film? Any information will be appreciated

2014-01-30 20:58:45 | kunle

New lesson

Ok. i should sop apologising for who l am. I promise l will from today

2014-01-30 20:21:22 | Micheal

keep it coming

Love every piece of this article. Skandik Afrik will go places if they maintain this standard. I was there and l felt your work. You make Africans proud in Scandinavia

2014-01-30 19:34:38 | Wendy

empowering the children of Africa

I like that, " Africans should stop apologizing for who they are". Wonderful article, and photographs. I agree with what she is saying, African parents and elders should put more effort in teaching the children their history. Small girls should already as toddlers be encouraged and taught that they can achieve anything that they desire, it should be the responsibility of the parents to give them that confidence(applies to boys as well), instead of adopting the submissive behavior, and staying in the back ground rather than taking their own space in the world as an independent, self sufficient, strong and wise individuals. thank you

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