Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was a guest at France’s annual ‘The Night of Ideas’ hosted by Institute Français. At the event the feminist author was interviewed by French journalist Caroline Broué. They spoke about Adichie’s opinion on various feminism topics including her “commitment to the fight against inequality between men and women” and her “convictions with respect to the role that African countries should play in globalization.”
The interview took a turn for the worst when Broué asked Adichie if the entire country of Nigeria had bookstores. Broué said, “Are there bookshops in Nigeria?” After an audible gasp from the audience, Broué continued, “Oh in France, we don’t know very much about Nigeria. When we hear Nigeria we think about Boko Haram and violence and security. Tell us something different.” Adichie responded, “I think it reflects poorly on France that you asked that question.”
It didn’t take long for reactions to pour in over the question on Twitter.
She must think we live in huts too🙄
When will journalists learn about their subject matter. the intentional ignorance and arrogance is extremely upsetting. https://t.co/tPnHBD0vcI
— Love, Joy. (@peacefulprim) January 26, 2018
A good journalist should have done the work to research Nigeria instead of expecting Chimamanda to do the work but this is the reality of how Nigeria is viewed in French media. https://t.co/nBNaQnDKGm
— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) January 26, 2018
And to think the journalist doubled down on this ridiculous question with: Oh in France, we don't know very much about Nigeria. When we hear Nigeria we think about boko haram and violence and security. Tell us something different.
Girl really? #Bye
— Yvonne Mburu (@ymscientist) January 25, 2018
At least one person thought Adichie should have used the opportunity to enlight the journalist.
I’m disappointed Chimamanda came for France when she could’ve addressed journo & also used #LaNuitDesIdees to promote the campaign for libraries in Nigeria.
With 316 (many dilapidated) libraries for 180M people, millions of Nigerians have never seen or heard of a local library https://t.co/Lgz8wQRUPU
— Rosemary: is the R in VAR! (@RMAjayi) January 26, 2018