Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie of “Half of a Yellow Sun” and “Purple Hibiscus” fame has become some sort of a revolutionary in African circles – and not just among writers. Her TED talk which focused on the danger of a single story hit home with many young Africans think and has been widely quoted by innovative African pioneers and leaders alike.


I had the opportunity to meet and interact with Adichie in 2009 and I have to say that she is such a down to earth and real person. So much such that, I wrote about the encounter. Her latest book “Americanah” is already getting raving reviews and I recently started reading my copy. Adichie has a special gift for capturing and expressing the realities of contemporary African society. The first chapter of Americanah is about a Nigerian blogger at Princeton university who contemplates returning home as she makes her way to a braiding salon. Pretty normal right? Exactly.

Adichie takes the very normal – or even mundane – and unpeels the layers within. As a Ghanaian blogger who’s looking to move back to the continent (Africa) soon and who has natural (untreated) hair, that chapter alone resonated with me on so many levels. What’s more, I’m predicting a good dose of humor in later chapters of Americanah. Bon, I’ll leave it you guys to figure out how Americanah unfolds. I know many other people who are avid about the book and I can personally vouch that it’s a must read. In the meantime, here’s a recent CNN interview with Adichie on Americanah, writing, hair, Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, and so on. Enjoy!

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Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.


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