After finishing Dear Ijeawele – A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, there were two thoughts on my mind. One – how good was this book. And two – how come I have only heard of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a short while ago?
Let’s start with the second thought. I cannot answer this properly, but I can say how grateful I am that Adichie was a guest on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in June. If you haven’t watched this interview, I would really recommend doing so. (Click here, to watch it.) It is such a wonderful and endearing conversation, that I immediatly became a fan of Adichie. Needless to say, that I will read everything she ever published as soon as I get my hands on it.
With Dear Ijeawele, Adichie published an email she wrote a friends years ago. Her friend had asked her how she can raise her newborn daughter a feminist. In these fifteen suggestions Adichie gives tips on how someone could become a feminist. Obviosly, it has a lot of tips on how to raise a child, but I do think that you can learn a lot when you read it as an adult as well.
As it is a short book (only 66 pages), it is a quick read. However, the impact it had on my was immense. Dear Ijeawele ist just so inspiring. It is also really funny and I was nodding along through the entire book. Adichie’s suggestions go from toys to books, from marriage to shame all the way to powerful women. There are loads of examples, so there is never a moment of confusion as to what she means. Some of the tips are more specific to Igbo, an ethnic group native to Nigeria, or to African culture in general.
“Books will help her understand and question the world, help her express herself, and help in whatever she wants to become – a chef, a scientist, a singer, all benefit from the skills that reading brings.”
This quote from the book spoke to me the most – and this a very quotable book (Seriosly, you probably heard of “Teach her that if you critisise X in women, but do not criticise X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women.” before). It is something I have experienced numerous times. Whatever you read, may it be fiction or non-fiction, will teach you so many things. Whether it gives you language skills or teaches you something about yourself. Reading and reading lots is the best educational tool there is.
I can only recommend reading Dear Ijeawele to each and everyone of you. If you have already read it, what did you think? Do you have a favourite quote as well? If you haven’t read it, would you be interested to read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Title: Dear Ijeawele – A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggesgtions/Liebe Ijeawele – Wie Unsere Töchter selbstbestimmte Frauen werden
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Publisher: 4th Estate London/S. Fischer Verlag
Publishing Date (first publication): 07-03-2017/08.03.2017