When asked in a French interview if there were any bookshops in her country, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie, had an epic response.
“I think it reflects very poorly on French people that you have to ask me that question,” she clapped back.
The applauded as the shocked “Americanah” author added, “I think surely… I mean it’s 2018,” she said in the video posted by French news channel Loopsider.
Adichie was a guest at the global ideas event “La Nuit Des Idees” (A Night of Ideas), that was hosted by the French government.
It was about halfway through the chat when she was asked if her books were read in Nigeria.
“You’ll be shocked to know that they are, yes… They are read and studied, not just in Nigeria but across the continent of Africa,” she stated.
That was when the interviewer asked if the country had bookshops. As the audience gasped the journalist looked embarrassed and tried to backpedal, saying, “not much is said about Nigeria in France.”
“We speak very little about Nigeria in France, certainly not enough, and when we do it’s about Boko Haram and the problems of violence and security,” the interviewer said. “I would like to take advantage of your presence for us to talk about other things and things that we don’t know about your country.”
— Asmau (@theladyamy_) January 26, 2018
Many who heard the question thought that Chimamanda Adichie was being asked if they have libraries in Nigeria because the French word for “librairie,” but the word means bookstores.
Many Nigerians took to social media to share their upset at the comments that Adichie was forced to deal with.
On Twitter, Yvonne Mburu said, “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.”
Others like Adekanmbi Jamiu, pointed out the laziness of the question. “Of course, that was not a question. It was a lazy and prejudiced insinuation.
“But then, even though we have libraries, the culture around the use of library here is a lot different from that of Europe. And it’s not because we do not like to read.”