LAGOS, Nigeria; 29th July 2018


Internationally acclaimed writer, Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie delivered an inspirational speech at the SOAS University of London’s 2018 graduation ceremony.

Speaking to the graduands, Adichie charged them to “set the world alight”. She said, “…however you want to go about doing that do not ever let anyone tell you not to try to change something because that is the way it has always been.”

About SOAS, she said “You’re very fortunate to have studied here at SOAS – this wonderfully multifaceted place that is steeped in diversity where difference is normal, this place where you can study so many non-European and European languages, where different people from different parts of the world converge to learn question and to grow.”

Professor Fareda Banda introduced Adichie saying, “Reading Chimamanda as a black woman is particularly moving and affirming. There we stand fully realised, not ciphers, not waiting for salvation from a male or other protagonist. We are not there to add grit and colour to someone else’s story. No, we are the story.

“Proudly feminist, our Honorary has written two non-fiction books, We Should All Be Feminists and Dear
Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, both bestsellers. In writing about feminism in a way the ordinary person can understand Ms Adiche has done more to explain feminist goals and has won over more sceptics than any number of dense incomprehensible academic texts have managed.”

Also present at the graduation ceremony was SOAS Director Baroness Valerie Amos CH.


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