Celebrated Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, who spoke at the Stockholm Forum for Gender Equality, revealed that she was molested at the age of 17.
Chimamanda Adichie told those present at the event, that a ‘big man in the media’ slipped his hand under her clothes and then into her bra to squeeze her breasts when she was 17 years old’.
“I had written a book of poems and taken it to a big man in the media who I felt would support my quest to have it introduced to the public, but was dumbfounded when the man who had earlier praised me for writing the book did the unthinkable.
“He slipped his hand into my bra to squeeze my breasts. Then I was so shocked that I did nothing for seconds but then, I pushed his hand away, gently, nicely, because I didn’t want to offend him.
“Later that day, I broke out in a rash on my face, neck and chest, as though my body was recoiling, as though my body was saying what my lips had not said” she said.
In a country with a population of 170 million, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on 15 September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents, Grace Ifeoma and James Nwoye Adichie. While the family’s ancestral hometown is Abba in Anambra State, Chimamanda grew up in Nsukka, in the house formerly occupied by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. Chimamanda’s father, who is now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, located in Nsukka.
At the age of nineteen, Chimamanda Adichie left for the United States. She gained a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, and she went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University, where she also wrote articles for the university journal, the Campus Lantern. While in Connecticut, she stayed with her sister Ijeoma, who runs a medical practice close to the university.