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Chimamanda Adichie; A Nobel-Laureate-In-The-Making

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I read her compilation of short stories ‘That Thing Around Your Neck’ and I became fired up to publish my compilation of short stories and poems…which I did; it is titled ‘Golden Apples in A Silver Basket’ and I owe the initial drive for it to Chimamanda Adichie…a little publicity for my book ey?

So it is Nobel laureate-in-the-making Chimamanda Adichie in the Konnect Africa house! Did you know she dropped out from studying Medicine? And had a reputation for being a bit of a hot-head?

Chimamanda will be 36 years old this September, 2013! I was amazed to discover that, because she does not look a day older than 25. Perhaps literary superiority will do that for you…I must be literarily superior too because I am 27 and look 18!!! Seriously!!![Laughing very hard!]

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Chimamanda  Ngozi Adichie is the fifth of six children born to a family of intellectuals. Her Father was a Professor of Statistics at the University of Nsukka [UNN], and her mother, Ifeoma Adichie was the first female Registrar of the University. UNN is truly a great institution, and I have facts to prove this. Chika Unigwe, NLNG Prize Winner, Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Vice President of the World Bank and even I, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya nee Onuigbo attended this great institution!!!

Anyways, Chimamanda is not one of the great dropouts, no sir. At the age of 19, she went on to study Communications and Political Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA before she transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University from which she graduated summa cum laude in 2001. In 2003, she completed a Master’s degree in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University, and in 2008, she received a Master of Arts in African Studies from Yale University. Chimamanda was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship; she has also been awarded a 2011-2012 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. O guru akwukwo ihe di-egwu!*

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She gained fame and secured her place in the hall of fame of the world’s greatest writers when she dropped her debut novel ‘Purple Hibiscus’ in 2003. Before that she had published a collection of poems in 1997 ‘Decisions’ and a play ‘For Love of Biafra’ in 1998. She was shortlisted in 2002 for the Caine Prize for her short story ‘You in America’ and in 2003, her story ‘That Harmattan Morning’ was selected as joint winner of the BBC Short Story Awards; she also won the O. Henry prize for ‘The American Embassy’. So before you run off thinking her fame and fortune were garnered in one night, think again. This is obviously a woman who works hard!!!

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She was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best First Book (Africa) and Best First Book (overall), for Purple Hibiscus; the book was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize and longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, finally clinched the Orange Prize in 2007 amongst others, and her aforementioned compilation of short stories was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and shortlisted for John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 2009. In 2010, it was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: Best Book (Africa).  What a woman, what a writer.


Her latest offering, ‘Americanah’ is set to hit the shelves this month, April 2013, and it has received rave reviews.  Binyavanga Wainaina, Author of ‘One Day I Will Write About This Place’ states about ‘Americanah’; “Fearless. A towering achievement…From the place of Africans in the race politics in America, to love across continents, AMERICANAH dares to bring us a world of a confident and self-made woman making her way in these complicated times. This is the Africa of our future. Sublime, powerful and the most political of Chimamanda’s novels. She continues to blaze the way forward.”

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Chimamanda credits the late literary genius Chinua Achebe with her literary inspiration. She once lived in Achebe’s house too. The late sage was no less admiring. On her second novel, he stated, “We do not usually associate wisdom with beginners, but here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers. Adichie knows what is at stake, and what to do about it. She is fearless or she would not have taken on the intimidating horror of Nigeria’s civil war. Adichie came almost fully made.”

Chimamanda is married to Dr. Ivara Alistair Esege, and is constantly attending and speaking at a plethora of Writing Workshops, Conferences and Seminars from continent to continent; when she is not penning down her masterpieces.

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

I see another blaze of awards trailing this new book. Oya*, Jennifer, where is your typewriter?!

O guru akwukwo ihe di-egwu!*[igbo] – She was well-educated/she read a great deal.

Oya*[pidgin] – Quickly

Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya
Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya
5 Things You Didn't Know About Jennifer in 2015: 1. Her newest collection of short stories, 'The Curious Case of the Small Pikin & Other Stories' is available on 2. She ported from Blogger to WordPress and shares her uncensored thoughts on 3. She is an aspiring Filmmaker & Talk-show Host[ess] 4. She's a mother of two, wife of one and daughter of God. 5. She plans to travel around the world in less than 80 days... Now you Know! Find me on Twitter: @jennynkem

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  1. Jenny, i’m seriously expecting your next book release. I think you’re very talented and will soon be sung just like Chimamanda. I’m fired up again!

  2. Well done Jenny. Chimamanda is anoda phenomenon from Nigeria. I have listened to her talks and speeches and challenged by her boldness, choice of simple and concise words. Danger of Single story was my first and the lady has not ceased to amaze me. There is no limit to how far we can go when we look within and act on our God given talents. Oya* Jeniffer wey ur keyboard. lol

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