Nigeria’s author Chimamanda asks women to support their own gender

Chimamanda asks men to consider reading women’s stories, to salvage generations to come. [Image: courtesy]
Nigeria—Celebrated Nigerian author and scholar Chimamanda Ngozi has advised men to read women’s stories so that to curb the rates of violence against women.

While making a case for the power of storytelling to change the world, Her lecture, entitled “The idolatry of Theory: A Defense of Storytelling,” started with a story from her own life. She said a woman had once told her and a few others that she often found that women were their own enemies.

Ngozi Adiche said that she and her women immediately lambasted the speaker despite the experiences she had shared about having had a difficult relationship with other women.

“The rest of us immediately said, you cannot say that. We did not engage with what she said. We silenced her. My voice was one of the loudest in that silencing. But even as I was silencing her I asked myself why her words made me uncomfortable.

“After moments of silence and as the speaker continued, I moved closer to my allies and asked them why we had to do that to a fellow woman. More important to one who was simply passing a message of hope and discipline to fellow women. We were ashamed of our actions.

“After that, it was clear that if we continued rubbishing our own gender then it’s quite obvious we shall never stand. Even when the male gender chooses to support us it will be waste of time.

“It’s upon us to support ourselves, read our stories, write our stories, publish our stories in whatever channel, give our stories the flavor we wish, then gents here will also choose to read the stories and support us.” Spoke Chimamanda.

Ngozi Adichie’s lecture was, according to Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamkgethi Phakeng, being watched by more than 5000 people across the continent and the world.