Friday, August 11, 2006

... and yet she loves Nigeria

Oversight on my part. I should have put this up ages ago. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writing in Tueday's Guardian:

The signboard near the international airport in Lagos reads "Welcome to Nigeria, the Happiest Country in the World". I drive past it often during the first few days after my return from the US because I am waiting for my luggage; British Airways doesn't know where it is. I borrow clothes from my sister and see how fatly complacent BA is. I can't help thinking that it doesn't make an effort at customer service because it is certain that Nigerians will continue to patronise them. Our Big Men and Big Women - the ones who say a plane is "full" because first and business are sold out - are particular about British Airways. A colonial hang-up, no doubt, the word "British" must make it something to covet. My luggage arrives after two whole days. As I am driven away from the airport, I swear I will never fly with British Airways again. I will stick to Virgin: its staff are more civil to economy passengers and the food is better. Read more...

7 comments:

the flying monkeys said...

If you stick fly Virgin, you will arrive on British airways. Trust me!

nouvel observateur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Everchange said...

superbitch? you just discredited yourself right there nouvel observateur. But i'm guessing you won't understand why.

yoruba characters stereotype themselves.

i think Chimamanda loves Abba and Enugu. I really think if she lived in Lagos, she won't be romantic about it. The american embassy is not better, I for one am not looking foward to going there, just because they no longer beat people...there are other ways of making nigerians feel worthless.

Nkem said...

Nouvel Observateur left a comment on 13 August, 2006 14:08 on the post - parts of it libelous. So I have reproduced the comment, but without the bits that would get me sued.

nouvel observateur said...
But does Nigeria love Chimamanda? She has a terrible reputation for being a superbitch back home - a tantrumy madam who all too readily plays the 'proud to be an Igbo woman' card without really understanding the ramifications.

Her new book promises to be even more divisive, thanks to its glorification of Igbo suffering and its negative stereotyping of Yoruba characters..

Aba Boy said...

I dont share nouvel observateur (reproduced)views about Chimamanda, but I will need to see it fully in its context to decide if he/she is right or wrong.

But like you said, parts of it may be libelous. So I will let it lie.

I have followed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing for a while and have nothing but respect for her...Still....

uknaija said...

Nothing wrong with being a bit of a diva, especially if you've got something to bitch about...and most Nigerian writers I know are proud of their ethnic origins- Achebe and Soyinka to begin with....

I haven't read Half of a Yellow Sun so can't comment on the question of stereotyping...but it's sad that even in 2006 we Nigerians still inevitably reduce everything to ethnicity

Anonymous said...

Chimamanda is a fine writer. I really enjoy her short stories. However, I think she should be careful with her constant 'I am an Igbo woman and I am proud stuff'. Yes, she is a diva. either you like divas or you don't. I haven't read Half of the Yellow Sun, I hope it provides a fresh perspective on the Biafran story which needs to be unearthed. But she doesn't have to be such an ethnic absolutist.