Answering Chimamanda’s Call – Akwaeke Emezi

I became a fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie only last year, on the abandoned dance floor of a gay club in Syracuse, with a music akwaekevideo DJ throwing up selections on the TV screens scattered between empty pink and blue strobe lights.

I had read all her books by then and I’d enjoyed them, although they didn’t resonate with me in the ways that my favorite art does. To me, her books were important reflections of pre-existing conditions—important because all of this needed to be seen and discussed, because representation must be full. If anyone ever asked me what it was like to be a Nigerian immigrant at the time that I moved to the States, I could hand them a copy of Americanah and say, ‘Just read this.’ That documentation, like that of the war, matters. I knew the content of her talks and the things she’d famously said in conversations with Nigerian journalists who never saw her coming. I admired the tightness of her writing, the way she spoke, the overall body of her work, and when ‘Flawless’ was released, I was excited to hear her voice on the track, a Nigerian woman, one of ours, my skin prickling at the simple power of what was being said and who was saying it.

Read more