I enjoy listening to Chimamanda speak-she’s very eloquent and has a way of weaving her words-her speeches are often descriptive and draws a clear picture of what she’s saying. Plus, hearing her speak always reminds me that you can speak clearly without “I wanna, gonna, innit” accents.
Recently she gave the commencement speech at Wellesley College and I was glued to my computer screen just watching her speak while also busy taking notes and nodding in agreement with some of what she said. Here are some of my notes;
…“a good shade of lipstick can always put you in a slightly better mood on dark days”…I know about this! On some days all I need is my RubyWoo and I feel I can conquer the world.
…the world does not extend to women the many small courtesies that it extends to men….And I knew that men were not inherently bad or evil. They were merely privileged. And I knew that privilege blinds because it is the nature of privilege to blind.” I am nodding vigorously to this because I understand exactly what she is saying. This privilege is not restricted to gender talk but also generally in life, even getting an education is a privilege. You can read? That’s a privilege. You know about the internet? You’re so privileged!
…”never ever accept ‘Because You Are A Woman’ as a reason for doing or not doing anything.”
…”try and create the world you want to live in. Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically in a real, active, practical, get your hands dirty way.” What I picked from this is to CREATE the world I want to live in, choose the kind of life I want to have and I can only do that with the small choices and decisions I make daily.
…”please don’t waste your time on earth, but there is one exception. The only acceptable way of wasting your time on earth is online shopping”…allow me to add that another acceptable way is eating good food. Life is too short to eat mediocre tasting food or the same food everyday!
…”All over the world, girls are raised to be make themselves likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people.Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don’t do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you…” I should hang this on my wall…always be yourself.
…Women are praised for their love when that love is an act of giving. But to love is to give AND to take. Please love by giving and by taking. Give and be given.” Applause ! Gyrating to the song “you say you love me more be for mouth oh pamurege, brother do something, pamurege…
Like Chimamanda, I am lucky that my writing has given me a platform (this blog) that I choose to use to talk about things that I care about and hopefully with it I can do more things like write about MEN on HOW TO KEEP A WOMAN HAPPY. Because there are already too many articles that tell women how to keep a man happy…would you like to read things like that???
Read the transcript of the speech here and tell me what you learnt! Which of her quotes resonate with you? Thank you Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.