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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will continue to ‘say what she thinks’ after being accused of ‘transphobia’

Award-winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said she will continue to speak her mind regardless of the consequences after she faced backlash online for saying ‘transgender women’ in a 2017 interview.

The author of The Half of a Yellow Sun, who has won several awards for her work, remembers being criticized last year for comments she made in an interview with Channel 4 four years ago.

The 45-year-old writer, who supports transgender women and campaigned for gay rights in Nigeria, has been criticized by fellow Nigerian Akwye Emeze, who is non-binary, as a “transgender hater”.

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Speaking to The Times 2, she said, “I will say what I think and there are often consequences, and I am willing to accept those consequences.”

Award-winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 45 (a speaker at the United Nations General Assembly) said she believes many “well-meaning” movements are at risk of being “authoritarian”

The writer, who is a mother, is campaigning to find better treatments and preventative measures for malaria, which she believes has suffered about 100 times (photographed at Paris Fashion Week in 2020)

The writer, who is a mother, is campaigning to find better treatments and preventative measures for malaria, which she believes has suffered about 100 times (photographed at Paris Fashion Week in 2020)

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She added that she believes the “nature of some social media platforms” has provided an environment in which people become more angry.

In an article written last year in response to the backlash, titled It’s Obscene, the 45-year-old accused the angry mob of being “terrified of having wrong opinions” after receiving criticism from people in both the UK and US. we.

Writing on her website, she said: “There are many social media savvy people who are stifled by holiness and lack compassion, and can talk smoothly on Twitter about kindness but are unable to actually show kindness.

People living their lives on social media are case studies in emotional drought. People who no longer have friendship and their expectations of loyalty, compassion and support.

People who claim a love of literature – the chaotic stories of our humanity – but are also unilaterally obsessed with whatever is mainstream ideological dogma.

“People who use the words ‘violence’ and ‘weapon’ are like a stained pitchfork. And so we have a generation of young people on social media so terrified of having wrong opinions that they rob themselves of the opportunity to think, learn and grow.

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The acclaimed writer told the BBC last year that she wrote 'it's obscene' after an angry mob targeted her late parents while she was abusing her for saying 'transgender'.

The acclaimed writer told the BBC last year that she wrote ‘it’s obscene’ after an angry mob targeted her late parents while she was abusing her for saying ‘transgender’.

Last December, Chimamanda told the BBC she felt compelled to write the article after people online targeted her parents, who died within a year of each other.

She said, “I think the one thing that really turned me on, and in some ways for writing this article, was my nephew calling and telling me there were people on social media saying my parents had died and that was fine. For me it was a punishment because I refused to say that trans women are women.

Her father, James Nooyi Adichie, died of complications from kidney failure in the summer of 2020, while her mother, Grace Efuma Adichie, died unexpectedly in March 2021.

While she admitted that she does not consider herself “courageous” to speak out about the issues that matter to her, she told The Times that she will continue to speak on the issues that matter to her.

She argued that there are a lot of women who are afraid to talk about what’s on their mind for fear of a backlash, especially if their opinion is against the norm.

Speaking shortly after fellow author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck while addressing an audience at the Chautauqua Foundation in New York, Chimamanda insisted that the writers were not planning to provoke people, and expressed concern for his condition.

During the interview, Chimamanda discussed her work with the charity No More Malaria, which she has been campaigning for since 2018. She is also an ambassador for Zero Malaria.

The mother of one of the children said she aims to ensure that her daughter’s generation is the first without the disease as a common part of their lives.

When asked how many times she herself had contracted malaria, Chimamanda said, “Oh, I didn’t think about it. Maybe a hundred times?”

She added that it would have been more if she had not left Nigeria to study at university in the US – and even then, she contracted malaria on every visit home.

The novelist said that two people she knew in the country’s capital, Lagos, had contracted malaria in the past week, as she spoke about the extent of the disease, which originates from mosquitoes.

She noted that while malaria can be fatal to many of those infected with it, it also has severe consequences for survivors – with weeks of school absenteeism meaning children’s education is affected.

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