Part 3: The 30 Most Notable Africans of 2013
03 Feb 2014
The third, and final, installment of the 30 Most Notable Africans of 2013 is here! If you missed the first two, click here and here for more profiles of Changemakers doing amazing things around the world. And drop me an e-mail if you think of anyone else I should profile in the future. In the meantime, be inspired—and then, take action! Enjoy…
#1. CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
Country of Origin: NIGERIA
What: This 36-year-old literary talent published her first collection of poems in 1997. Since then, she has used the pen as a powerful tool to bring to life stories centered around her Nigerian identity, culture and history. Maybe it was partially the fact that she grew up in the house where another literacy giant once lived—Chinua Achebe—or maybe, it’s just that writing is in her DNA. Whatever the case, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie has proven that she’s no “one-hit wonder.” Her novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, received numerous awards, widespread acclaim and is set to be released on the big screen in 2014, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton. The book chronicles the region of Biafra's struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s.
Why I’m Inspired: Chimamanda has chosen to take on complex and culturally-nuanced issues in her writing that have contributed to shifting the over-simplified and cliché perceptions of, not only Nigerians, but Africans in general. In 2013, the New York Times listed her third book, Americanah, which highlights the Nigerian immigrant experience in America, as one of the 10 best books of 2013. As the beloved, late Komla Dumor said in his famous TEDTalk, “Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.” This is one woman who is telling our stories on her own terms.
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