Multiple award-winning Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been named as one of the 100 Most Influential People of African decent by the Africa Report.
Adichie, the only woman on the list, is fourth, while Aliko Dangote is number one. She is followed on the list by Trevor Noah, South-African born television personality and comedian who is one of the leading talk show hosts in the United States, having taken over from Jon Stewart on the award-winning Daily Show.
In a series of articles published on their platform, The Africa Report named the top Africans, “who control the levers of power across politics, business and the arts: from billionaire barons to unpredictable peacemakers and soft-power superstars.”
The Africa Report said Adichie, “continues her stratospheric ascent and is as often seen behind a mic as in print these days – engaging audiences about racism, sexism and the human condition.”
She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including in 2008, a Macarthur Fellowship, popularly known as the Macarthur Genius Award. She also received fellowships at Princeton University and the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University.
Her books have been translated into over 30 languages and are used in school curriculums around the world, including Nigeria. She has won numerous prizes, including the Commonwealth Prize for her first novel, “Purple Hibiscus.” Her second novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun” was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction (subsequently renamed the Baileys’ Prize), which is the world’s top award for female writers.
In October 2018, she was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize, named in honor of playwright and Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter.
With many of these awards, including the Orange Prize, the Macarthur Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN Pinter Prize, she has the distinction of being the first Nigerian and in fact, the first African, to receive these recognitions.
Many global leaders and influencers, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Oprah Winfrey, admire Adichie. Barack Obama called her, “one of the world’s great contemporary writers,” and Hillary Clinton has written, “she has the rare ability to sum up even the biggest societal problems swiftly and incisively, and in the next breath, offer a solution.”
She has received 14 Honorary Doctorate degrees from leading universities around the world, including from one of her alma mater, Yale University; has spoken at some of the most influential global institutions such as the United Nations General Assembly, and is known for her courageous speaking out against injustice. Adichie’s influence transcends writing, with the New York Times calling her, “the rare novelist to become a public intellectual.”
She is also widely seen as a style icon, has been featured on covers and features in numerous top global fashion and style publications, and was included in Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List in 2016. Later that year, she was named as the face of British beauty brand Boots No7. In May 2017, the author launched her own project, “Wear Nigerian,” to promote Nigerian brands and designers on the global stage.