Yesterday, March 13, popular Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said that she was horrified by Nigeria’s anti-gay law signed by President Goodluck Jonathan early this year. She made the comment while answering listeners’ questions on WNYC Radio’s Brian Lehrer Show. She defended the article she wrote in which she called the law unconstitutional and unjust.
The piece, titled “Why Can’t He Just Be Like Everyone Else?” received numerous responses from Nigerians, many of which were negative.
During radio interview, Ms. Adichie said that she wrote the article to start a conversation with Nigerians of her generation. “I think part of it is religion,” she said. “Religion has so clouded the discourse on topics of this sort that very often it is no longer about humanity. It just becomes about the Bible said this is wrong, therefore we should stone them kind of thing.”
Adichie said that despite the negative reaction of some Nigerians to her piece she would write the same piece again if she had to.
The author of the bestselling novel, “Half of A Yellow Sun” also noted that the piece changed some minds. “For every 10 people that said you are possessed by the demons and that sort of things,” she said, “one person has said that I am rethinking this and I am starting to see that it makes no sense at all to criminalize people for being who they are.”
Adichie appeared on the popular New York City radio program few hours before she won the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for her latest novel, “Americanah”. In Americanah, she tells the story of an African immigrant in America as she deals with the issue of race and identity. The paperback version of the book has just been published.