Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense. Do not ever tell her that she should or should not do something because she is a girl. 'Because you are a girl' is never reason for anything. Ever.
Dear Non-American Black, when you make the choice to come to America, you become black. Stop arguing. Stop saying I'm Jamaican or I'm Ghanaian. America doesn't care.
The truth has become an insult.
We never actively remember death,' Odenigbo said. The reason we live as we do is because we do not remember that we will die. We will all die.
—El abuelo solía decir que todo empeora y luego mejora. O dikata njo, o dikwa mma —comentó Kainene.
You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.
The educated ones leave, the ones with the potential to right the wrongs. They leave the weak behind. The tyrants continue to reign because the weak cannot resist. Do you not see that it is a cycle? Who will break that cycle?
This idea of feminism as a party to which only a select few people get to come - this is why so many women, particularly women of colour, feel alienated from mainstream western academic feminism. Because don't we want it to be mainstream?
Because gender can be uncomfortable, there are easy ways to close this conversation. Some people will bring up evolutionary biology and apes, how female apes bow to male apes - that sort of thing. But the point is this: we are not apes. Apes also live in trees and eat earthworms. We do not.
I am a person who believes in asking questions, in not conforming for the sake of conforming. I am deeply dissatisfied - about so many things, about injustice, about the way the world works - and in some ways, my dissatisfaction drives my storytelling.
I look young. I heard this said so often that it became irritating. I once worked as a babysitter for a woman who, the first time we met, said she didn't want somebody in high school. I was 22. Later, I realised that in certain places being female and looking 'young' meant it was more difficult to be taken seriously, so I turned to make-up.
I've always been curious about how much of our cultural baggage we bring to what and how we read. I suspect we bring a lot, although we like to think we don't.
Lasting love has to be built on mutual regard and respect. It is about seeing the other person. I am very interested in relationships and, when I watch couples, sometimes I can sense a blindness has set in. They have stopped seeing each other. It is not easy to see another person.
Gender is not an easy conversation to have. It makes people uncomfortable, sometimes even irritable. Both men and women are resistant to talk about gender or are quick to dismiss the problems of gender. Because thinking of changing the status quo is always uncomfortable.
In primary school in south-eastern Nigeria, I was taught that Hosni Mubarak was the president of Egypt. I learned the same thing in secondary school. In university, Mubarak was still president of Egypt. I came to assume, subconsciously, that he - and others like Paul Biya in Cameroon and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya - would never leave.
Girls are socialised in ways that are harmful to their sense of self - to reduce themselves, to cater to the egos of men, to think of their bodies as repositories of shame. As adult women, many struggle to overcome, to unlearn, much of that social conditioning.
I have my father's lopsided mouth. When I smile, my lips slope to one side. My doctor sister calls it my cerebral palsy mouth. I am very much a daddy's girl, and even though I would rather my smile wasn't crooked, there is something moving for me about having a mouth exactly like my father's.
While writing 'Half of a Yellow Sun,' I enjoyed playing with minor things: inventing a train station in a town that has none, placing towns closer to each other than they are, changing the chronology of conquered cities. Yet I did not play with the central events of that time.
It is easy to romanticize poverty, to see poor people as inherently lacking agency and will. It is easy to strip them of human dignity, to reduce them to objects of pity. This has never been clearer than in the view of Africa from the American media, in which we are shown poverty and conflicts without any context.
I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue.