I’ve never been much of a Chimamanda fan. No.
I remember in JSS2 when I first discovered her. Romola had read Purple Hibiscus and she was going crazy, she was all: ‘Chimamanda this, Chimamanda that’ she even began to write her own novel which she said was inspired by Chimamanda, I also wanted to be inspired to write a story and at that point in my life, I was looking for the next best book. I immediately got myself a copy of the book and when I was done I wasn’t as inspired or touched as I’d wanted to be, the book was too much like real life, which I was desperately trying to get away from at that point, it didn’t even end the way I’d have wanted. I tried reading Half Of A Yellow Sun, 4 years later and I got bored before going halfway, I got Americanah mid-way through the year and I am yet to be done till now.
I used to believe that she likes using big grammar unnecessarily, which always has me reading her novels with a dictionary by my side or with a book to put down my ‘New Words’, I also believe that most young 21st century female Nigerian writers especially, have their works influenced by her and are a reflection of her in one way or another.
My point is: I have never been a Chimamanda fan, I’ve barely ever been able to relate to her works in the way I would like to and I’ve never really understood the hype that follows her name. Yes, she’s a good, skilled, experienced and learned writer. No doubt. But… I’ve never caught that Chimamanda fire, that I so fondly heard of and so jealously craved while reading her works.
That is until earlier this week, I finally caught the fire. I read her book ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ and God knows, I caught that fire.
Even today, women face segregation of sorts in the society. Talk but don’t talk too loud, learn but don’t be too learned, rise but don’t rise too high, make your money but don’t be too rich. Blaa blaa blaa.
My point here is just to preach as Chimamanda did: We should all be feminists.
Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of the sexes.