“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much.You should aim to be successful but not too successful otherwise you will threaten the man.’ I am female , I am expected to aspire to marriage, I’m expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. A marriage can be a source of joy, and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie).
Shame on me for expecting feminist sentiments to appear only in books! Beyonce sampled a part of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted X talk on her single, Flawless, and it’s a hit. (See videos below). The pop icon released her self titled album, Beyonce, on itunes yesterday and the fact that she featured an African writer on it made me appreciate the album more.
Chimamanda is the Nigerian, Caine Prize winning author of Half A Yellow Sun who was in Nairobi for Kwani?’s 10th anniversary last month. The book party had Binyavanga Wainaina, Yvonne Owuor and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking. If you’re not a literature lover, that was an epic event. Anyway, if you haven’t already read Americanah, add that to your to do list.
The fact that Chimamanda’s words appear in a Beyonce song is a testament that writers are relevant in the entertainment world. That alone is enough for me to start the weekend on a high.
Between you an I, African writers are the new rockstars!
Photo Credit: YNaija.