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  • Dibussi Tande

    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world!


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October 07, 2009


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Just when I begin to question the relevance of this blog your unearth a gem like this. What a succinct yet powerful evaluation of the state of our world by a brilliant beautiful sister. People like her keep our dreams alive. Truths are truths whether we choose to acknowledge them or not. The vexing thing is that it requires such little effort in today's world to get to the truth. Why then do we choose to have such tunnel visions? This sister gives us the answer in this articulate discourse.


Kwensi, I might have discovered this blog years after its creation, but I doubt that in the beginning, there was a conference to decide what would be considered "relevant" here. I am sure the blogger decided to create a blog to discuss whatever caught his fancy. So how come we are talking about relevance? Relevance to whom? and using what parameters?

BTW, I don't see what is "relevant" in Adichie's little talk. What exactly is the "new" insight that she is offering? That when we are consistently told that Mexicans are loafers with no culture or history we would end up looking at Mexicans through that prism? Nothing new here. So my friend, please get down your high horse, read and move on like the rest of us.

Florence Anyabuonwu

As a Nigerian studying here in the United States, most of us pass through similar experiences. We are negatively labelled, pitied and made to feel that everything is wrong with our very identity and existence. In the midst of such overwhelming belief system, continuously reinforced by a mass media that know no better, it is easy for us to forget the beauty of our cultural heritage. Thank you Chima for making me a proud Nigerian, African.


We all can write high-sounding gibberish but it takes genius to eloquently crystallize complex issues like the portrayal of people of African decent in the West like Chima does in this piece. It takes a genuine intellectual to acknowledge a job well done. Mediocrity and self-aggrandizement, we can get everywhere we choose to look but a gem like this Ibo lady comes once in a lifetime. Many intelligent people have identified her as such and have voted with their wallets by making her an international acclaimed novelist. And she is how old? 28. It that doesn't warm your heart as an African nothing will. Too bad people like you will never overcome their prejudices long enough to give credit where it is due.

John Iteshi

I refuse to join the praise singing bandwagon not because I do not appreciate Chimamanda’s beauty and talent, but simply because I do not agree with what she said in this celebrated speech! I have not seen any merit in the claim that westerners are focusing solely on our negative stories. In any case,Chimamanda was made famous by the same people she is admonishing against negative stories! In my view the western media and opinion leaders are not even focusing enough on our negative stories! I believe more negative stories about us should be told so as to spur us to development. It is our responsibility to counter the negative stories with positive developments just like the Japanese did and the Indians and Chinese are doing now. Please see, see www.johniteshi.blogspot.com for my detailed view on this topic!


One of my friends sent me the link to this video because my book club (in the San Francisco area) is reading Purple Hibiscus. At first, listening to her talk about her interactions with her roommate, I grew really offended. "Now this is her one story of how Americans see Africa. It's repeated over and over as the only story," I thought. And I started to get angry. Then I remembered, that is the way most Americans see Africa. I don't because I have lived there, in more than one country (including Nigeria). I have seen enough to know better. But most Americans haven't. All they know is starving children with flies on their faces.

I disagree with Mr. Iteshi. More negative stories will not spur development. Negative stories are all we get, all we have ever gotten, and development has not come. Highlight the positive, encourage, give attention to those who are doing well. Or else, the rest of the world will never know there is any good to encourage.


Jombue and Iteshi

Honestly i think you guys are unrealistic and detached from reality about the negative impression of the verse majority of the west about Africans. And am sure you guys read with your heads and listen with your eyes, if not you would have appreciated this effort of Chimamanda. As a Nigerian coming to the United States for the first time, am proud to be associated with her. Just this January , I had been presented with a book called 'Purple Hibiscus', Chimamanda been the author by a library management where I read after work and weekends in Lagos, Nigeria. I had given the book to my brother in-law's wife as a gift because i did not appreciate literature books well enough to dedicate time to read them at the expense of my professional journals and books at least for now, and she was quick to ask me if i had seen the video by Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story. I went on google and I typed the title and since then I had watched and listened to this piece by a fellow African and Nigerian seven times and am still going to refer a lot of people to it when am back to Nigeria in a few days time. Now I am going back home to buy that book i had given out.

I think your problem is what Nigerians will call "Bad Belle" which means you are envious of her and the only way to express that is to downplay her effort. Whether you like it or not she's been accepted by the International Community and widely celebrated by millions on Nigerians back home because of her works.

I think the best thing for you guys is to take up the challenge this young lady had posed to you and run with it. If you cannot applaud someone else's effort, then don't be angry if others don't appreciate your effort.

Let me chose to fall into the danger believing of a single story for your purpose by assuming you are South Africans. Winnie Mandela in a speech delivered in Abuja, Nigeria in December, 2009 openly confessed that South Africans have not officiallly shown appreciation for the role my Great Country Nigeria played in the fight against apartheid in south Africa where Nigeria spent billions of Naira. Instead what do we get in returns? deportation of Nigerians from south Africa. it's a shame that people like you are Africans.

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