Chimamanda’s needless bickering by Okechukwu Nwafor

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recently responded to one of her traducers in Facebook over her comment on ‘wife’ during her interview with Hilary Clinton. The caption of her response reads thus: “Dear Unnamed Person Who I Am Told Is On Social Media Saying I am Her Family and Telling Me to Shut Up”.

I read Chimamanda’s response many times and I said wow, many times. I think her convictions are too eccentric or even esoteric. Quite unpretentiously, a tone of sheer indignation runs through the response. At some point it seems the delight one takes in reading her pleasurable and beautiful writing style would be marred by her wacky submissions. Not just that a somewhat misrepresentation in her text suggests an inwardly disobedient trait, or perhaps an inborn anomaly to revolutionize without actually knowing why.

She said “I am tired of Nigerians who read a headline and, without bothering to get details and context, jump on the outrage bandwagon and form lazy, shallow opinions.” Yet she goes ahead to state that she stands by her word that Clinton goofed by starting her twitter page with ‘wife’. So I wonder where these Nigerians read a headline and misunderstood her. What they read is her outright sense of repugnance at Clinton’s choice, and placement, of ‘wife’ in her twitter page and nothing else. So I didn’t see it as a headline. Now why should that apprehension constitute ‘lazy, shallow opinions’ in Chimamanda’s mind?

When I read how Chimamanda used the word ‘lazy’ two times, to qualify Nigerians in her text, I said Nigerians are in trouble. I said that the difference between Chimamanda’s use of ‘lazy’ and that of Buhari is that Buhari was more compassionate to qualify a segment of Nigerians being ‘youth’ with lazy. But Chimamanda was more malevolent to categorize all Nigerians who listened to her interview and felt uncomfortable with her submissions as lazy.

Again she said “Feminism is indeed about choice. But it is intellectually lazy to suggest that, since everything is about ‘choice,’ none of these choices can be interrogated”. However, I still think that she might constitute part of that laziness because of her failure to appreciate the beauty of engagement that comes from Social Media users. In the manner she felt cross at Nigerians’ altercation over her convictions on ‘wife’ so do these Nigerians feel over her avant-garde views that now seem to trouble the traditional cultural canons of certain individuals. So in essence while the ‘unnamed person’ asks Chimamanda to ‘shut up,’ Chimamanda calls her, and other Nigerians ‘lazy.’ So my question is who is more civil? This statement is at variance with her submission in her response. It also suggests that it is intellectually lazy on her part to assume that there must be a collective compromise on her feminist choices.

Her response throws up so many picky situations. For example she is again upset that this ‘unnamed person calls her family. She rejects this association. She fails to understand the context of family in African cultural system. Indeed, any Igbo could be family to any other Igbo, depending on the contexts. Family extends to remote ramifications and she cannot undo that sensibility.

I conclude that Clinton’s use of wife has no problems at all and should not, in any way, be an object of such uncompromising lamentation from a person as cerebral as Chimamanda. Whether Clinton starts the twitter page with wife or ends it with wife should not in any way cause Chimamanda severe headache. The most important thing is that wife is wife and husband is husband unless she prefers to delete the English word from the Dictionary. This is a human world, choices must be interrogated and there must not be any closure on levels of intellect meant to interrogate such choices.

Okechukwu Nwafor. 25/4/18.

About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298.

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