Our 39 best Inspirational quotes from Chimamanda Adichie as she turns 39!

Born on September 15, 1977, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is 39 today!
Raised in the city of Enugu, she is the fifth of six children and she grew up in a house once used by one of Africa’s finest writers, Chinua Achebe.

Despite the challenges she faced, she has grown to become 'the most prominent' voice of African literature.

A year ago, Beyonce's hit single, 'Flawless' was released and it included part of her speech on feminism. Other than talking about social issues on pop records, she is an excellent writer, novelist, and public speaker who addresses social issues such as gender, race and social class—with honesty and eloquence.

Here are 39  great quotes from Chimamanda:

2. "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 see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”

3. “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”

4. “The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”

5. “Show a people as one thing, only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.”

So true--when people see an absence of women in engineering, science and technology, then it becomes self-reinforcing.

6. “Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”
On race...


8. “Racism should never have happened and so you don't get a cookie for reducing it.”
On Africa...

9. "If I were not African, I wonder whether it would be clear to me that Africa is a place where the people do not need limp gifts of fish but sturdy fishing rods and fair access to the pond. I wonder whether I would realize that while African nations have a failure of leadership, they also have dynamic people with agency and voices."


11. “I recently spoke at a university where a student told me it was such a shame that Nigerian men were physical abusers like the father character in my novel. I told him that I had recently read a novel called American Psycho, and that it was a shame that young Americans were serial murderers.”

12. "You have to do more than go there and adopt a child or show us pictures of children with flies in their eyes. That simplifies Africa."


14. "It is easy to romanticize poverty, to see poor people as inherently lacking agency and will. It is easy to strip them of human dignity, to reduce them to objects of pity."


16. 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.' Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, 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?

17. All over the world, girls are raised to be make themselves likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people. Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don't do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are.

18. If you don't understand, ask questions. If you're uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It's easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here's to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.

19. We teach girls shame; close your legs, cover yourself, we make them feel as though by being born female they're already guilty of something.

20. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.

21. The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.

22. Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.

23. Never ever accept 'Because You Are A Woman' as a reason for doing or not doing anything.
24. Our society teaches a woman at a certain age who is unmarried to see it as a deep personal failure. While a man at a certain age who is unmarried has not quite come around to making his pick.

25. To choose to write is to reject silence.

26. If you start thinking about being likable you are not going to tell your story honestly.

27. There are people who dislike you because you do not dislike yourself.

28. There are people who think that we cannot rule ourselves because the few times we tried, we failed, as if all the others who rule themselves today got it right the first time. It is like telling a crawling baby who tries to walk, and then falls back on his buttocks, to stay there. As if the adults walking past him did not crawl, once

29. The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn't have the weight of gender expectations.

30. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

31. I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.

 32. Culture does not make people. People make culture.

33. The novels I love, the ones I remember, the ones I re-read, have an empathetic human quality, or 'emotional truth'. This quality is difficult to fully define, but I always recognise it when I see it: it is different from honesty and more resilient than fact, something that exists not in the kind of fiction that explains but in the kind that shows.
34. I think my first general rule is that most of my experiences are not that interesting. It's usually other people's experiences. It's not that entirely conscious. Somebody tells me a story or, you know, repeats an anecdote that somebody else told them and I just feel like I have to write it down so I don't forget - that means for me, something made it fiction-worthy. Interesting things never happen to me, so maybe two or three times when they do, I have to use them, so I write them down.

34. Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.

35.All over the world, there are so many magazine articles and books telling women what to do, how to be and not to be, in order to attract or please men. There are far fewer guides for men about pleasing women.

36. You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?' Aunty Ifeka said. 'Your life belongs to you and you alone.

37. This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles.

38.  She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself.
39. Privilege blinds, because it's in its nature to blind. Don't let it blind you too often. Sometimes you will need to push it aside in order to see clearly.



  2. Happy birthday to her. I like this woman *shines teeth*

  3. To say i love this lady is an understatement.

  4. Love me some Chimamanda... Happy birthday!

  5. I love this lady..i want to be like her when i grow up


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