Chief Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her husband, Dr. Ivara Esege at installation ceremony in Anambra. Image from Facebook

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was honored by her community in Abba, Anambra State Nigeria, with the chieftaincy title of ‘Odeluwa’ (‘The writer of global acclaim) on Friday, December 30th. Her husband, Dr. Ivara Esege, accompanied her at the ceremony.

I am so grateful to my people of Abba in Anambra State for their warmth and love, for their enthusiastic support. And to Igwe L.N. Ezeh, who has always valued education, for giving me the title of “Odeluwa” — ‘the one who writes for the world.’ (My father received the title of “Odelora” — ‘the one who writes for the community” and the symbolism means very much to me.)

The internationally acclaimed author revealed that she’s the first woman in her hometown to hold the title of Chief.

I am the first woman in my hometown to be made a chief, and it makes me happy to know that more women will follow. Culture does not make people, people make culture. Cultures thrive when they best serve and reflect the people. Ours must become a culture that celebrates achievement, whether it comes from a man or a woman.

Surely Adichie is an inspiration to many in her village and beyond as she vividly described the atmosphere of the occasion.

It was a day filled with joyful moments but the highlight for me was the sight of many children on the dusty road, laughing and waving and shouting ‘Odeluwa!’ Amongst them, I hope, were little girls with their hearts full of dreams who feel encouraged to keep trying, to keep going.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was described in The Times Literary Supplement as “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [which] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature,”, particularly in her second She has written the novel Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013), the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), and the book-length essay We Should All Be Feminists.

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