Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Award-winning writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has said she found the recent #EndSARS protest in Nigeria really impressive, saying it showed how people loosed up, came out, and made reasonable demands.
The novelist made this known yesterday while discussing with Christiane Amanpour on Cable News Network (CNN) on her emergence as winner of Women’s prize tagged ‘Winner of Winners’ with her book, Half of a Yellow Sun. She also spoke on former United States president, Barack Obama’s book, A Promised Land, and the recent #EndSARS protest in Nigeria.
Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2007, was named the best book in the prize’s 25-year history by the public.
She said: “It’s wonderful news; I felt really happy, particularly because this is actually the prize that attracted a large audience to my work and it’s been 13 years. So being crowned ‘Winner of Winners’ actually makes it double meaningful.”
The prize is coming 13 years after she won the Women’s prize for fiction. The one-off prize to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the award was judged by members of the public, who were asked to name their favourite among the 25 winners.
Adichie’s novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, which follows the lives of several characters caught up in the civil war in Nigeria in the late 1960s, beat others including Zadie Smith’s On Beauty and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. More than 8,500 people voted, according to the organisers of the prize.
Speaking on the recent #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, the author of Americana, said: “I found the protest not just politically living but also really impressive about how people loosed up, came out and made demands, which actually were quite reasonable demands. I think the Nigerian government missed an opportunity to handle it well.
“I think there is probably some kind of panic in the government because I think they were surprised how widespread and how organic the protests were. And what is happening now is that some people who were part of the protest are being harassed; people’s bank accounts are frozen; people were stopped at the airport and their passport was taken because they were part of the protest. So, I think we still have a government that is unable to fully understand that we are in a democratic system.
“I’m not entirely sure of its inability to understand or an unwillingness to understand because I do think there is a wide divide between this generation of Nigerians and the generation of people in power. I also think there is still very much a sense of what our military history is,” Adichie added.