Internationally acclaimed Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland USA. She was one of the eight ‘distinguished achievers’ to be given the rare award this year. She was honoured alongside groundbreaking filmmaker Spike Lee, Nobel Prize winner Richard Axel and Ellen M Heller, Maryland’s first woman to become an administrative Circuit Court judge.
Also, Adichie has been awarded the 2016 Barnard Medal of Distinction from Barnard University. The Barnard Medal of Distinction is the college’s highest honour, serving a similar purpose to an honorary degree. Previous recipients include Toni Morrison, Meryl Streep, Hillary Clinton, Billie Jean King, Joan Didion and Barack Obama. Barnard, a private women’s liberal arts college in the United States, affiliated with Columbia University.
In the medal citation, the college said of Adichie: “You spark the conversation, upend the status quo, and open our hearts and minds to the world.
“We honour your work, your humour, your respect for history, and your vision for the future. In your footsteps, we will all be feminists, unlearning what we have been taught to believe in order to dream for ourselves. Steering clear of the single story in favour of an ever more kaleidoscopic view. Staying true to who we are, messy though that may be.”
Adichie is popular for writing Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah.