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Chimamanda Adichie finally speaks on her father’s death



Bestselling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at HCLS Miller Branch.

Nigerian novelist-cum-feminist, Chimamanda Adichie finally breaks silence over the death of James Adichie, her father, who recently passed away from a brief illness.


On June 10, the professor of statistics breathed his last at the Chira Memorial Hospital situated within Awkuzu Oyi local government where he was admitted to. The highly regarded author had remained silent on the tragic news as close relatives engaged the press.

However, on Saturday, she took to her Facebook page to pen an emotional tribute where she conveyed her grief.

Noting she had dreaded such possibility due to his age, Chimamanda described the experience of planning his funeral while being stuck in the United States due to the pandemic as “bewildering.”

“And just like that my life has changed forever. June 7, there was Daddy on our weekly family zoom call, talking and laughing. June 8, he felt unwell,” the author wrote.

“Still, when we spoke he was more concerned about my concussion. June 9, we spoke briefly, my brother Okey with him. “Ka chi fo,” he said. His last words to me. June 10, he was gone.

“Because I loved my father so much, so fiercely, so tenderly, I always at the back of my mind feared this day. But he was in good health. I thought we had time.

Chimamanda James Adichie father

Chimamanda with her father, James Adichie

“I thought it wasn’t yet time. I have come undone. I have screamed, shouted, rolled on the floor, pounding things. I have shut down parts of myself.

“We are broken, bereft, holding on to one another, planning a burial in these COVID-scarred times. I’m stuck in the US, waiting. The Nigerian airports are closed. Everything is confusing, bewildering.

“Sleep is the only respite. On waking, the enormity, the finality, strikes – I will never see my father again. Never again. I crash and go under. The urge to run and run, to hide from this.”

Before his death, Chimamanda had recounted her family’s experience during the Biafran War, admitting they had lost everything while their career trajectory sharply changed and divided.

“I saw him last on March 5th in Abba. I had planned to be back in May. We planned to record his stories of my great grandmother. Grief is a cruel kind of education,” she added.

“You learn how ungentle mourning can be, full of anger. You learn that your side muscles will ache painfully from days of crying. You learn how glib condolences can feel.”

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