I’m A Miss Not Mrs! Chimamanda Adichie Declares

                                                                 Ms. Adichie and husband
    While speaking with a journalist from the Sunnewsonline
    last week, renowned writer, Chimamanda Adichie used the opportunity to correct
    the notion that she is a Miss and not Mrs, even though she is still married to
    her US based Doctor husband, Dr. Ivara Esegee. Here’s whta happened;
    Mrs Chimamanda Adichie, wel-come back to Nigeria…
    Before we start, please, I just want to say that my name is
    Chimamanda Adichie. That’s how I want it; that’s how I’m ad-dressed, and it is
    not Mrs but Miss.  Ms: that’s how I want
    it. I am saying this, because I just got a mail from my manager this morning.
    It seems that there are people who attended the church service, and they wrote
    about it, addressing me as Mrs. Chimamanda (Esega). I didn’t like that at all.
    So my name is Chimamanda Adichie, full stop! Continue after the cut.

    You mean?
    This is because it is also responsible that people be called
    what they want to be called.
    In one of your interview published in the some newspapers,
    (including an interview in Sunday Sun with 
    Akubuiro in 2007), you said you’re a
    feminist. Can you throw more light on that?
    Oooh! Is that when I said that, because that quote has
    followed me everywhere in the world? That’s why I don’t like granting
    interviews, because whatever you say, in 20 years, you’ll still be quoted. Oh I
    said I’m a feminist? You know, what I meant was that: you know when people hear
    feminism, many things come into their head. What I wanted him to understand is
    that feminism doesn’t mean that you want to be a man. I’m a feminist, I’m a
    female; a feminist meaning that I want to look like a woman, but I want the
    equal respect that a man has. I think that human being should be respected
    based on their achievements and not based on whether you’re a man or woman.
    But, since I said that, everywhere I go, people are asking about that. I went
    to Australia, and they had read that; they knew about that. I was on stage in a
    hall full of people. They said they had a special present for me, and they
    brought in purse. I just started laughing. It was hilarious. But this is why
    you should be careful what you say. It was so funny. All the way in Australia!
    You started by telling me that you’re not “Mrs.”…
    (cuts in) My name is Chimamada Adichie. If you want to put
    label for me, put Ms.
    But people know that you’re married. As an Igbo girl, you
    know our culture…   
    (Cuts in again) What does our culture do? Let me tell you
    about our culture. This thing that you are calling our culture –that when you
    marry somebody, you’ll start call-ing her Mrs. Somebody –is not our culture; it
    is Western culture. If you want to talk about our culture, you need to go to
    people in real Igbo land. But it is true. My grandfather’s name is David. His
    name is also Nwoye. They call him Nwoye Omeni. Omeni was his mother. You know
    why? It is to help distinguish him, because there are often many wives. So, it
    was his mother that they used to identify him. They know that all of these
    people came from the same compound, but whose child is this one. You may go and
    ask people who is Nwoye Omeni, and they’ll tell you it is my grandfather. So,
    conversation about culture is a long one. I don’t even want to have it.
    But, at what point would you change your name?
    Yes; because it’s all fused. You cannot then come and impose
    something on somebody. Nobody should come and impose something on somebody,
    because, if you come and tell me it is our culture, I’ll tell you it is not our
    culture. Where do you want to start counting? Do you want to start counting in
    1920, or do you want us to start counting from 1870?
    But culture is dynamic…

    Exactly my point, which is why this is new. If culture is
    dynamic, you cannot use it as conservative tool. We can-not then say it has to be
    this because it is our culture.  My point
    is that it is a new thing. Things are changing. We live in a world now where
    women have a right to bear the name they want. So, we cannot say this is how we
    do it. If some women want to do it that way, that’s fine! God bless them. Some
    women won’t do it. I am one of those women, and nobody will come to use culture
    to tell me that I should do what I don’t want to do.

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