“I’m Looking At My Bag Of Fucks To Give And It’s So Empty Now.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Is A Whole Mood In Her BlackBox Interview

“I’m Looking At My Bag Of Fucks To Give And It’s So Empty Now.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Is A Whole Mood In Her BlackBox Interview

Early last month, Bounce premiered the two-part interview of award-winning writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu. And it was an interview that led to all sorts of revelations about the Americanah author that we didn’t know. In the first part, she opened up about her early years in Nsukka, her writing, her recreational interests and how her first name, which is part of her world-famous identity, is not even her given name. She even shared a funny story about her husband and his foray into the movie world of Star Wars.

In a rare show of vulnerability, Chimamanda also talked about her father in the Part 2 of the interview. She lost her father last year, and she revealed to Ebuka Obi-Uchendu all the ways that her father’s passing has influenced her mind-set about how to handle things in her life, most commonly the controversies that are attached to her celebrity.

“People will create a controversy when there isn’t one,” she said as she recounted the times that Nigerian media reportage about her had twisted her story from the truth into something more salacious, while admitting that this gets to her. “You know this idea of being expected to say, ‘I don’t care.’ I think it’s a lie,” she said. “Because if you care about yourself – and I do… You have to be… Self protection is part of it. Of course I care. Of course it gets to me.”

However, she added, “I think the question is: To what extent does it get to me and how then does it change my behaviour? It’s not going to change what I stand for or what I say. That’s not going to happen. There are times when it’s hurtful, because – you know, sometimes you can… Sometimes, it’s malicious.”

She went on to talk about what she’s learned about being famous. “One thing I’ve learned is how ridiculously, terribly two-faced people can be. And also, how people sometimes forget that you’re human, and how, you’re no longer a person. You’re an opportunity to people.”

It was apparently a tough lesson for her to learn, how people lie and twist narratives about her into untruths. “I consider myself well-read, right? Knowledgeable about things, but it was a revelation to me. I be like, ‘Ah, ah, but how can you go and lie? That’s a lie now.’”

Chimamanda recounted an instance of someone telling lies about her. “There’s a young woman who came to my workshop, who I gave a lot of support to, and she goes out and she tells these lies in public. And honestly, I’m sitting there thinking, ‘But how can a human being… You know… How can you lie?’ And it can be hard because, on the one hand, you’re thinking, ‘Should I respond?’ But then, you’re thinking: ‘Do you really want to get into the mud and wrestle and get dirty?’”

Where once her policy had been to ignore these controversies, she said that that has changed. “I’m not ignoring anymore. So … I’m getting five lawyers who will sue anybody who tells any damn lie,” she said, before adding that, “I’m actually preparing a call-out speech where I’m going to name names of people who’ve told lies.”

Following the airing of the interview, there were social media speculations about who the perpetrators of these lies the writer was so vexed about were, and who and who may make it on her call-out speech. The most popular vote seemed to be Akwaeke Emezi, the nonbinary transgender writer of Freshwater.

Last November, Adichie had reacted to the trans controversy surrounding JK Rowling, calling  the Harry Potter writer’s essay on how she was gender critical and not transphobic “a perfectly reasonable piece”. This drew the ire of trans activists and Twitter was in an uproar about Adichie’s comments, labeling her transphobic. This was of course not the first time Adichie had suffered backlash over her views on the identities of trans people, as she had come under some heat back in 2017.

The nonbinary transgender Akwaeke Emezi, who graduated from Adichie’s creative writing workshop, was one of those who reacted to her views, in a Twitter thread that went down memory lane. The writer claimed that Chimamanda pulled her support for their book after coming across their tweets online. They said that two days after their debut novel, Freshwater, was released, Adichie, who had edited and written an introduction to their work, had asked “that her name be removed from my bio everywhere because of my tweets online,” adding that “most were about transphobia.”

Akwaeke Emezi

Emezi also criticized the writing communities and the fandom of the more famous writers. “It’s performative allyship with trans people when Black trans women are murdered, but contempt and mockery when we hold your faves accountable for the transphobia that harms them in real life and *contributes* to those murders. Y’all are truly the weakest link, my God.

“There are so many communities I used to be a part of and got pushed out of simply for existing truthfully as myself,” they added, “for seeing and pointing at true things, where staying would have meant violence.”

Since these explosive claims were made, Chimamanda of course never responded. However, it seems that from her BlackBox interview, she does have a response coming up, and it will be a call-out that everybody clearly is anticipating.

Check out the clip of Chimamanda Adichie’s reactions to controversies below, and click HERE for the full second part of her interview:

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  1. McDuke
    February 20, 09:43 Reply

    I so much love this woman…lots of wise words from one person. I keep learning a lot from her. Can’t wait for her “call-out”…knowing her, hers might just be the new standard for “call-outs”….lol

    • Pink Panther
      February 20, 10:11 Reply

      Lol. I know, right? She’d set the trend on call-outs that we’ll find ourselves following.

  2. Black Dynasty
    February 20, 13:53 Reply

    Still one of the best interviews I’ve watched in a while. So candid and vulnerable.

    Seeing her realise truly, the fragility of our mortality and just how quickly it can happen and the resultant no more fucks to give is something i think i everyone should aspire to.

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