Our culture must celebrate achievements – Chimamanda Adichie

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Renowned novelist and feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has said culture in African communities must recognise and celebrate achievements of both men and women.

Chimamanda said this on Wednesday on her social media post where she expressed her gratitude to the traditional ruler of her community, Abba in Anambra State, Igwe L.N Ezeh who bestowed on her the traditional title of Odeluwa.

Governor Charles Soludo broke the news of the title bestowed on Chimamanda last weekend during the 80th birthday and 45th Ofala celebrations of the monarch.

The author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of A Yellow Sun disclosed that she is the first woman from her community to become a traditional chief and urged that more women should be so honoured after her.

She wrote: “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.)

“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.

“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.”

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