News

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Brings Her 'Americanah' Blog To Life

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has brought her 'Americanah' blog to life with The Small Redemptions Of Lagos.


In 2013, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's continent spanning novel Americanah introduced us to Ifemelu, the outspoken Nigerian blogger whose musings on everything from immigrant life in the diaspora to affirmative action and interracial relationships were captured on the fictional blog Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black. Since its publication, readers of Adichie's latest work have been left wanting more from the award-winning Nigerian writer whose ability to speak so candidly about her convictions in real life and through her characters has contributed to the rising global interest in contemporary literature from African writers. Back in July Adichie adapted her We Should All Be Feminists speech as an eBook. And luckily for us, more recently she's resurrected Ifemelu's distinctly incisive tone and made the transition from the realm of fiction to reality with the introduction of a Wordpress blog titled The Small Redemptions Of Lagos.

Modeled after the blog started by Ifemelu upon her return to Nigeria, The Small Redemptions of Lagos appears to pick up where Americanah left off, and in its first entry details Ifemelu and her love interest Obinze's current cohabitation. As a companion piece to the lush novel, The Small Redemptions of Lagos expertly weaves fact and fiction into each short post, and besides Obinze, other secondary characters pop up in posts relating to style, health and beauty. Beyond that, its focus spans from the personal to the political, and, as Ifemelu herself describes in Americanah, "the blog posts are in a stark, readable font" with a "dreamy photograph of an abandoned colonial house" serving as the site's header. In one blog entry, Ifemelu sounds a call to action to the Nigerian Health Minister addressing the current Ebola epidemic, while in an another titled POTFRN 1, Ifemelu sketches a humorous vignette of a female President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whose first order of business is to curtail the pompous trend of congratulatory newspaper ads.

The blog appears to be on a sporadic posting schedule since its first entry on August 27 and we are yet to see if it is to play any part in Lupita Nyong'o's forthcoming screen adaptation of Americanah– but we're keeping our fingers crossed. Until then catch up with Ifem, Ceiling, Ranyunido and everyday life in Nigeria over at The Small Redemptions Of Lagos.

Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

[Op-Ed] Speeka: “‘Dankie San’ brought me closer to kasi rap”

A personal reflection on one of South Africa's most influential hip-hop albums, 'Dankie San' by PRO.