“Because I made up the name. I invented Chimamanda. I created Chimamanda.” I still can remember the shock when heard Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie respond with those words to a question from Ebuka Obi Uchendu as she responded to his question regarding why she opposes anybody shortening her name – Chimamanda. This was on a Black Box interview on Bounce Radio. This came back to me again, yesterday, when my friend visited. My friend has a daughter and herself and husband decided to be one of the many people from the Eastern Part of Nigerian having to name their child – Chimamanda.
My friend definitely came to mind the first day I watched that interview, so yesterday was an opportunity to ask the burning question – Do you know the origin of your daughter’s name? she goes ‘Chimamanda?’ and I am like ‘yeah?”. She said it’s an Igbo name and I am like, “of course it is”, with a smirk on my face. Oh how I enjoyed that very moment cos I am trouble like that. But I got to share this with her and decided this should make a good blog post for posterity sake. Whoever says we cannot change or even modify culture?
I definitely do admire Chimamanda. I love all she has been able to achieve for herself, the writers community, the Igbos, Nigeria and indeed Africa. She has been able to live life in a way that allow her follow her passion, and use her voice to create cultural change and mindset shift in order to take a decisive look on the way we have done things, how it’s been currently done and what can be done better for the inclusion of all.
Chimamanda – Inventor, Origin and History
Do you know how cool I would feel if I invented my name – Elsie? I know a few people have grown fond of me enough to name their daughters – Elsie but this is different. Origin is defined as the point or place where something begins, arises or is derived and of course, the origin of the name Chimamanda came from the Nigerian Author herself – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is the origin and she popularized it. Watch this short clip below of her telling the story of the history the name – Chimamanda.
Chimamanda – Meaning
Chim (My God)… Amanda (Will Never fail) – My God will never fail.
Watch the full interview HERE