UN Honours Chimamanda Adichie
By Dipo Omoware
Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has received the United Nations Global Leadership award.
The literary sensation and feminist icon was honoured for her numerous works in literature and storytelling that connect people across generations and cultures on issues of gender and social equality.
The author while receiving the award at a ceremony in New York said it is wonderful to be acknowledged for one’s work even if the recognition is not what you are after.
“The thing about being recognised is that this is not the reason one does what one does but it is always wonderful to get that validation because it means somebody is saying to you that what you are doing matters and it is a wonderful feeling.”
The UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed also speaking at the event said Chimamanda was an inspiration to both the old and young generation.
“Chimamanda Adichie is an inspiration to even we oldies, receiving it so young is really just a demonstration of what young people can do. Her words are deep, they are meaningful, they are etched in many people’s hearts and mind because they resonate, she’s just an amazing person, incredibly gifted and I’m very proud as a fellow Nigerian”
The President/CEO of the UN Foundation, Kathy Calvin who presented the award to her said she was honoured to make the presentation.
“She is a compelling and singular voice for our common humanity and she deconstructs in her stories all the isms that dehumanize and helps us ask questions those isms and she conveys deep love her people and her country and its gets shared with all of us when we read her story so I was very honoured to get to present this very deserved award to her tonight”
Past recipients of the award include former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton as well as media mogul Oprah Winfrey and former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
Chimamanda is the first Nigerian and African woman to receive the award. She is also the youngest African recipient of the award.
Her literary works include novels, essays, short stories and non-fiction. Some of her works include the novels Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah.
Americanah is currently in development as a TV mini-series and stars Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o.