French Interviewer asks Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ‘Are there bookshops in Nigeria?’

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has hit out at a “deliberate, entitled, tiresome, sweeping, base ignorance about Africa” after she was asked by a French interviewer if there were bookshops in Nigeria.
  • The prize-winning Nigerian novelist was invited by France’s foreign ministry to appear as guest of honour at the Institut Francais’s cultural event La Nuit des Idées. Interviewed by the French journalist Caroline Broué, Adichie was asked if there were bookshops in Nigeria.
  • “When you talk about Nigeria in France, unfortunately there is not much said about Nigeria, but when people talk about Nigeria it’s about Boko Haram, it’s about violence, it’s about security,” said Broué. “I should like you to tell us something about Nigeria which is different, talk about it differently, and that is why I’m saying are there bookshops? Of course I imagine there are.”
  • In a video of the event, Adichie is shown reacting calmly to the question. “You know I think it reflects very poorly on French people that you’ve had to ask me that question. I really do. Because I think, surely it’s 2018. I mean, come on. My books are read in Nigeria. They’re studied in schools, not just in Nigeria but across Africa and it means a lot to me,” says the author.

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