18 June 2017

Nigeria: Reactions Trail Chimamanda 'Williams College' Commencement Speech

Early this month, author and activist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, gave a commencement speech to the 2017 graduating class of Williams College in Massachusetts, United States.

The author of "Americana" told the graduates that though luck plays a role in success "the thing about luck is that you have to be prepared to meet it. It's just one ingredient out of many."

She added that, "sometimes you have to nudge fortune a little, sometimes badger fortune and keep trying, because luck is never enough."

She also spoke about her love for writing, saying, "writing is what I love. Writing is my vocation. Had I not had the good fortune of being published, I would be somewhere, completely unknown, but I would be writing. And I also would be doing the two things that I consider the essential corollaries of writing: reading and dreaming."

As the norm with most of Chimamanda's speeches and interviews reactions abound on social media, but this time around the reactions appeared to be in tandem with the views she expressed.

A social media user, Chichi, reacting to the speech wrote, "Chimamanda, you have spoken truly well. I agree with you that luck alone is not sufficient for anyone who wants to make progress in life. When luck knocks at someone's door if he is not prepared he would not even notice it."

Another netizen Ezinne O. wrote "I took out 20 minutes to watch this video. It's just amazing how sound this woman is, especially where she said, 'In the face of sustained mediocrity, we continuously lower our standards.' This is the major problem with my country, Nigeria. People who complain are seen as trouble makers, those who try to change things are seen to be disturbing the sleeping dog."

Writing on the author's Facebook page, Ifeyinwa Obieze said, "I just love your boldness, charisma and the fact that you're not carried away by the society in which you have found yourself. I hope many Nigerians learn that! Well done, dear."

Chimamanda told the graduating students how she dealt with rejection in her early days as a writer.

"I was also writing short stories and sending them out to journals. And for each story I sent out that was rejected, I knew that it was either that the story was a bad fit for that particular journal or that the story was just bad."

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