January 5, 2023

‘As first woman chieftain, I’ll inspire others in my hometown’ – Chimamanda Adichie

By Adegboyega Adeleye

Multi-award-winning Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie says, becoming the first woman in her hometown to be conferred a chieftaincy title will be a source of inspiration for other young girls and women to follow suit.

The renowned writer also urged culture custodians to ensure men and women are honoured equally.

Adichie, who hails from Abba in Anambra State, over the weekend received the title of ‘Odeluwa Abba’  which loosely translates to ‘The one who writes for the world’ from the traditional ruler of Abba, Igwe L.N. Ezeh.

Appreciating those who supported her during the chieftaincy ceremony, The 45-year-old author and public speaker believes her title would open doors of recognition for other accomplished women in their chosen careers.

The celebrated writer, wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday, “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.”

The Purple Hibiscus writer continued, “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.” 

On December 30, 2022, Adichie was conferred with a chieftaincy title by Igwe Leonard Ezeh, the monarch of her hometown Abba in Anambra State.

Adichie was honoured with the title of “Odeluwa” (the one who writes for the world), similar to her father’s, James Nwoye Adichie‘s title “Odelora” (the one who writes for the community).

The event took place at the 45th Ofala Festival and 80th birthday celebration of Igwe Ezeh, the king of Abba.

The Governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, amongst other dignitaries was present at the ceremony.