Nigerian youths have continued to prove to the world through their brazen talents that youth is not all about violence, fraud and the likes. One of such person who has become a source of inspiration is the award-winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who was recently chosen as a fellow for the 2011- 2012 session at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, US.
The Institute received 800 applications from individuals who want to pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, creative arts and professions, and Adichie was among the 51 people selected. "The 51 men and women were chosen from 800 applicants based on prior accomplishments and the project they seek to undertake during their fellowship, as well as the potential of their projects to have long-term impact," a statement by communications officer of the Institute Karla Strobel said.
Strobel noted that the author of The Thing around Your Neck, a collection of short stories, will be working on her next novel during the programme. A MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2008, Adichie who has been organising a creative writing workshop for young people was recently included in the New Yorker's 20 Under 40 Fiction Issue. The author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun and winner of the Orange Broad band Prize for Fiction in 2007, she has continued to captivate the world with beauty and brain.
Adichie was born on September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, and is the fifth of six children of her parents. While the family's ancestral hometown is Abba in Anambra State, she grew up in Nsukka, in the house formerly occupied by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. Her father, now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and was Nigeria's first professor of statistics, and went later to become Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university. Her mother was the first female registrar at the same institution.
She completed her secondary education at the University's school, receiving several academic prizes. She went on to study medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the University's Catholic medical students. At the age of 19, Chimamanda left for the United States where she gained a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, and went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University. She graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001, and completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.