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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Receives United Nations Foundation Global Leadership Award

It is no news at all that the dexterous Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has distinguished herself as a writer. Her works range from novels, to short stories, to nonfiction, but each one has contributed to establishing Chimamanda as one of the greatest writers of our time. Chinua Achebe gave high but appropriate praise when he said “Chimamanda came almost fully made.” In recognition of her achievements and immeasurable impact, the United Nations Foundation honoured Chimamanda, amongst others, with a Global Leadership Award. This honor makes Chimamanda the first Nigerian to receive the Global Leadership Award.

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Chimamanda’s fame cuts across almost every corner of the globe, and it is almost impossible to express the extent of her influence. She has written six international bestsellers, her books have been translated into more than 50 languages, and she has been the recipient of several literary awards. She has also received honorary doctor’s degrees from 14 universities in several different countries, including Yale, Amherst, Haverford and John Hopkins University. In 2015, Adichie was one of just two novelists in TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. In 2014, her book Americanah was optioned by Lupita Nyong’o for a ‘passion project’ that we recently discovered will soon be airing as a 10-episode TV show on HBO Max. In a cover story interview for AnOther magazine, Lupita confessed “I pre-ordered that book and I could not put it down… I knew I wanted to make this.”

In 2013, Chimamanda contributed words to a track off Beyonce’s BEYONCE album, a track titled ‘Flawless’. The BEYONCE album went on to receive a nomination for ‘Album of The Year’ at the 2015 Grammy Awards. The words Chimamanda contributed to Flawless were from a speech she gave at a TEDXEuston event in 2013. Beyonce later explained Adichie’s influence on Flawless saying:

 “I was scrolling through videos about feminism on youtube and I ran across this video of this incredible Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie. Everything she said is exactly how I feel. ‘We raise girls to see each other as competitors. Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men.'”

The United Nations Foundation honoured Chimamanda with the Global Leadership Award on the 20th of November, at the United Nations Foundation Global Leadership Dinner. For more than 20 years, the United Nations Foundation Global Leadership Dinner has been honouring exceptional individuals who have, through their actions, contributed to the achievement of UN goals.

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The Global Leadership Award was given to Chimamanda ‘for her work using literature and storytelling to connect with people across generations and cultures on issues of gender and racial equality.’ Chimamanda was honoured alongside Mary Robinson, Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, Michael Walsh, and United Nations Humanitarian workers on the frontlines of conflict and crisis.


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Tochi Onwubiko

Tochi Onwubiko is a 'Jack' of many trades. A designer, book editor, lawyer and happy freelance writer. She enjoys drinking tea, sitting in quiet spaces, and reading thick books. She hopes to publish books one day. She also loves a good house party. If you know about any good books or parties, leave a comment on one of her posts.

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