A recent list published by The Africa Report laid out 100 most influential Africans alive.
And in the top 10 of that list, there was only one woman — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; the renowned Nigerian author and novelist who has become a global sensation.
The Africa Report’s 100 Most Influential Africans list features individuals “who control the levers of power across politics, business and the arts: from billionaire barons to unpredictable peacemakers and soft-power superstars.”
Besides Aliko Dangote who actually occupies the top spot on the list, Adichie is the only other Nigerian and the only woman in the top 10 of the 100-strong list.
The Africa Report also lists the CEO of a leading global bank, Tidjane Thiam (Cote D’Ivoire); Chairman of the big media group, Koos Bekker (South Africa); and the current Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, along with Dangote and Adichie in the top 5.
The Africa Report said: Adichie continues her stratospheric ascent and is as often seen behind a mic as in print — engaging audiences about racism, sexism and the human condition.”
Adichie is well-known for her literary works and vocal, non-conformist views, especially in the areas of women empowerment, gender equality, and racial equality.
Some of her best-known works of literature include Purple Hibiscus, Half Of A Yellow Sun, and Americanah. Half Of A Yellow Sun has since been adapted into a motion picture Americanah is in now being adapted for an HBO miniseries produced by Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt.
Adichie has received many awards and recognitions. In 2008, a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the MacArthur Genius Award. She also received fellowships at Princeton University and the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University.
The author’s books have been translated into over 30 languages and are used in school curriculums around the world, including Nigeria.
Those books have also won numerous prizes, including the Commonwealth Prize for her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, the Orange Prize for her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun and the US National Book Critics award for her third novel, Americanah.
In October 2018, she was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize, named in honor of playwright and Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter.
Her famous 2014 TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story”, is one of the most viewed TED Talks of all time. Another TED Talk of hers, “We Should All Be Feminists” inspired a limited-edition T-shirt by Christian Dior in 2017 and got mixed into a song by music icon, Beyoncé.
Former US President, Barack Obama, called her “one of the world’s great contemporary writers.” Hillary Clinton has written that “she has the rare ability, to sum up even the biggest societal problems swiftly and incisively.” Adichie has also drawn admiration from other influential personalities Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.
The Yale University-trained Nigerian author has cemented her place as one of the world’s most influential and knowledgeable persons having bagged 14 Honorary Doctorate degrees from leading universities around the world.
Featured Image Courtesy: vox