Nigerians, and Africans Don't Matter in Global Relations – Chimamanda Adichie
By Dipo Omoware
Award-winning author and Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie thinks Nigerians, and Africans don't matter in global relations.
The 42-year-old author said this at the annual Felabration symposium also known as The Fela Debates while speaking on a panel alongside Ugandan politician, musician and activist, Bobi Wine; British rapper and author Akala; and erudite Professor Akin Oyebode.
While responding to a question, Adichie had said, “if you look at the foreign policy of positive nations, by their actions you can tell that not only do they not think we matter, they don’t think we will matter.”
Speaking about her experience living outside the country, author of the book length essay “We Should All Be Feminists” stressed that this power dynamics affected how Africans are treated outside the continent.
“There is always a power relationship with living (in the diaspora) especially for us Africans to play because still, in the global relations we don’t really matter and I think that is the reality”
Adichie, however, noted that “it is up to us (Africans) to” change the narrative and show that we matter but this could not be done without a proper sense of history and the right psychology.
She called for an overhaul of the school curricula in Nigeria and said this would help address the issue.
“We need to remake the curriculums that teach our children today, we need to teach them civics and history but we need to change that curriculum.”
“We teach them civics in a way that they have a sense of themselves, they know that their past is not some dark thing, they know that despite the flaws that they have, every nation has flaws but also every nation has greatness and to think of our past as one that is worth taking pride in.”
Chimamanda’s literary works include novels, essays, short stories and non-fiction. Her third novel, Americanah explores the journey of a young Nigerian woman encountering racism in America.
Americanah is currently in development as a TV miniseries and stars Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o.