Here’s even more reason to adore Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: if it were not for one throwaway mention during an interview with the Financial Times, the world wouldn’t know that she has had a baby.
The widely admired Nigerian novelist – the author of the novels Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah – is also one of the world’s most well-known advocates of feminism. And it is for entirely feminist reasons that Adichie refrained from making a public announcement of the birth of her child with husband Ivara Esege.
As she told journalist David Pilling: “I just feel like we live in an age when women are supposed to perform pregnancy. We don’t expect fathers to perform fatherhood. I went into hiding. I wanted it to be as personal as possible.”
Adichie then refused to answer further questions about the baby, deflecting them with what Pilling calls “a disarming smile”.
Aside from the fact that Adichie knows about the kind of gendered attention she is likely to receive as a new mother, she has good reason to be wary of the press. The author’s experience with depression were published prematurely by The Guardian in February 2015.
This was an experience that Adichie described as “a horrible violation”.
“There is something predatory about big Journalism, big Journalism doesn’t care about the humanity of it subjects,” she had said.