Nigerian novelist and writer of short stories, Chimamanda Adichie, hosted the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, for a Q&A session at the Royal Festival Hall in London, on Monday evening.
The event, which was already sold out about half an hour after it was announced, is part of Michelle’s tour to promote her best-selling memoir, Becoming.
Becoming is an intimate inspirational autobiography, describing deeply personal experiences from her childhood, to how she became America’s First Lady, and motherhood.
Just fifteen days after it was published, her memoir broke sales records to become the best selling book so far in 2018.
In her conversation with Chimamanda, the former US first lady recounted her mother’s words to her as a child — words that would eventually shape her into the woman she is today.
Michelle’s parents recognized that Michelle had a voice, and rather than quench her fire like many other parents at the time would, they found a way to help her hone her voice.
Her childhood wasn’t like many would like to imagine, Michelle didn’t grow up in a big house where she had everything she needed — her family didn’t have much by way of resources, but they were content.
Her father, a working class man, worked very hard to make sure that his family got all they needed, but in that time he was struck by multiple sclerosis and died in 1991.
“My father had Multiple Sclerosis and it is a devastating and debilitating disease that slowly takes away the person’s ability to walk. It just gets worse and worse. I remember watching my father decline. I’m sure there is something in my personality…what happens to a kid when their parent is in a weakened state.”