The government and people of Anambra State have lauded the world-class native daughter Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for being voted the best Women’s Prize for Fiction winner in the last quarter of a century.
In a statement signed by Mr. C. Don Adinuba, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, it was highlighted that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun has been voted the best book to have won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in its 25-year history.
According to the statement, Chimamanda, who won the Orange Prize in 2007, was chosen in a public vote from a list of all 25 past winners that included such distinguished writers as Zadie Smith, the late Andrea Levy, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain and Maggie O’Farrell.
Remarkably, the one-off award marks the anniversary of the prize, formerly known as the Orange Prize and the Bailey’s Prize. Chimamanda thus received a silver edition of the prize’s annual statuette, known as the Bessie.
Anambra State is in celebratory mood like the author and playwright Kate Mosse, the founder and director of the UK-based prize, who congratulated Adichie and said she was “thrilled” Half of a Yellow Sun had won. In the words of Kate Mosse, “Our aim has always been to promote and celebrate the classics of tomorrow today and to build a library of exceptional, diverse, outstanding international fiction written by women.”
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State who had hosted Chimamanda Adichie on occasions believes that the world-famous author inspirits the Anambra essence of committed intellection, saying the award came “at a time the whole world is celebrating Chinua Achebe’s 90th birthday even though posthumously”.
Published in 2006 and set in the mire of the Nigeria-Biafra War, Half of a Yellow Sun explores doomed love in a time of war, ethnic allegiances, class, race and female empowerment.
An excellent novel of critical and commercial success, Half of a Yellow Sun has received global acclaim and was made into a film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in 2013.
It is little wonder that Adichie said: “I’m especially moved to be voted Winner of Winners because this is the prize that first brought a wide readership to my work – and has also introduced me to the work of many talented writers.”
The government and people of Anambra State believe that it is a matter of when, and not if, Chimamanda Adichie will win the esteemed Nobel Prize for Literature.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner For Information And Public Enlightenment