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Chimamanda Responds: Bookshop Question Was Ironic, Don't Pillory Her

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says in a post on Facebook that it's unfair to ridicule the French journalist who asked if there are bookshops in Nigeria.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has responded to the exchange she had with French journalist Caroline Broué on whether Nigeria has bookshops on Facebook.

In a post entitled, "On Bookshops - Not Libraries - in Nigeria," Adichie recounts the exchange how she remembered it and provides her thoughts on the conversation and criticisms that sparked as a result of the clip going viral.

"It appears that 'librairie' was mistakenly translated as 'library' when it actually means 'bookshop,'" she clarifies.


Adichie acknowledges that it's impossible for a French person to know almost everything about Nigeria, as she, herself, doesn't know almost everything about France.

"But to be asked to 'tell French people that you have bookshops in Nigeria because they don't know' is to cater to a wilfully retrograde idea - that Africa is so apart," Adichie continues, "so pathologically 'different,' that a non-African cannot make reasonable assumptions about life there."

Adichie also makes a point to note that Broué was indeed thoughtful and prepared for their conversation, but that particular question had taken her aback.

"I now know that she was trying to be ironic, to enlighten by 'impersonating the ignorant,' but because she had not exhibited any irony until then, I didn't recognize it," she says. "Hers was a genuine, if flat, attempt at irony and I wish she would not be publicly pilloried."

Read the full commentary below. Make sure you don't miss her Lagos bookstore recommendation, too.

Music

Adekunle Gold Teases Upcoming Album With New Single "Mercy"

The Nigerian afropop crooner has fans sitting in anticipation for his new album, due out February 4.

Afropop favorite Adekunle Gold is back on our minds with the announcement that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is out in a week! The Nigerian superstar has already teased fans with tracks "High" featuring Davido, "Sinner" featuring American singer Lucky Daye, and now shares his latest "Mercy."

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Music
Image courtesy of Spinall.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Spinall x Adekunle Gold, Ibibio Sound Machine, Turunesh and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Film
Photo courtesy of Madelyn Bonilla

Madelyn Bonilla On Being The AfroLatina Representation Her Younger Self Needed

Bonilla, the founder of online community Brown Narrativ, spoke with us about how her experiences as an AfroLatina woman in NYC’s Bronx led her to write and direct her debut film, Pajón.

Madelyn Bonilla is dedicated to being the person she needed when she was growing up.

The former forensic science researcher-turned-advertising guru was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised in the Bronx, New York - or, “where Hip-Hop was bred”, as the 36-year-old puts it. Growing up in a typically Latinx family, community, and neighborhood, Bonilla knew that there was so much more of herself to discover, as her interests in Black culture shaped a lot of her life. It wasn’t until her early 20s that she started to allow herself to explore her identity as an AfroLatina woman. The first to do so in her family, Bonilla faced – and still faces – scrutiny and shaming from the Latinx community at large, but also from her own loved ones. Comments like, “Your hair looks messy” or, “Your hair’s not combed” when Bonilla first began rocking her natural curls truly mirrored the thoughts and opinions of those around her, too. Her experiences as an AfroLatina woman are the experiences so many face, as they try to get to the root of their own roots.

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The Fugees' Concerts In Ghana & Nigeria Cancelled

Their entire reunion world tour "will not be able to happen [due to] the continued Covid pandemic."