Renowned writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa degree by the American University in Washignton DC.
This is the 8th honourary degree received by Adichie from a major US university in light of her exceptional achievements as a novelist and speaker.
She also delivered the commencement address to the College of Arts and Sciences at the 137th commencement ceremony of the American University, Washington DC on May, 2019.
The commencement ceremonies which held on May 11th and 12th, 2019, had speakers from across different spheres – politics, arts, finance, communications and justice in its lineup.
Alongside Adichie, some other speakers were former Democrat candidate for governor and minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, Stacey Abra-ms, and president of Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products, Pam Kaufman who both spoke at the School of Public Affairs and School of Communications respectively.
“I am very honored to be your commencement speaker today.”
This is a platform that I have been given because of my work as a writer and years ago when I started writing stories in little notebooks as a child, I was doing what I loved. I was escaping into an imaginative world and I could not have possibly imagined that I would one day be standing here before you” Adichie said to the graduates as she delivered her commencement speech.
Her speech was filled with wisdom and laced with humor. “As you prepare to soar away on your eagle wings today, as you graduate with your hard-earned degrees, please don’t think of today as the day you stop being a student. Be a student for the rest of your life, and the best way to this is to read; every day. Preferably books but otherwise anything continuous and relatively long”. “Which means Twitter doesn’t count” she joked.
Her award-winning novels, short-stories and talks have been celebrated globally and has arguably set the tone for conversations about feminism amongst other topics. Her last publication was titled “Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions,” in March 2017.
Her 2009 TED talk,”The Danger of a Single Story,” has over 17 million views, making it one of the most viewed talks of all time, and is required viewing in the first-year AUx curriculum.
She is also well known for her critically acclaimed books “Half of a Yellow Sun,” “Americanah” and the book-length essay “We Should All Be Feminists.