Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie receives honorary degree

The acclaimed Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been awarded an honorary degree at the University of Edinburgh.

Chimamanda Adichie received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the University’s recently redeveloped St Cecilia’s Hall – Scotland’s oldest concert hall. The award, presented by the University’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, is in recognition of Ms Adichie’s achievements as an author and public intellectual.


Following the presentation, Ms Adichie was interviewed about her work and ideas by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at an event at Edinburgh International Book Festival in association with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is widely regarded as one of the world’s most prominent contemporary writers. She is the author of three award winning novels, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah, and a short story collection, The Thing around Your Neck.


Public engagement
Her most recent title, Dear Ijeawale, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, takes the form of a series of letters from the author to a friend about feminism and motherhood.

She is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – a five-year grant awarded to individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work, and have the potential to demonstrate more in the future.

“It is lovely to be in this place, which is hallowed. I feel very fortunate to be included among the people who have been honoured with a degree from this University.
 -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Proposing Ms Adichie for the award of the degree, Dr Barbara Bompani, Director of the Centre of African Studies said there are many stories of the influence that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s work has had on the lives, thoughts and creativity of others.

“Through her writing, her advocacy, and her public engagement, she inspires all of us to better understand our own, and other peoples’ stories.”
 -Dr Barbara Bompani, Director of the Centre of African Studies


During her visit the author met a group of students from the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program which supports the brightest and best African scholars, ensuring access to education for young leaders who have a personal commitment to changing the world around them and improving the lives of others.


The University of Edinburgh

Images – © Neil Hanna Photography



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