Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has revealed that she was s.exually assaulted at the age of 17 by a media top shot in Nigeria.
The writer made this revelation during an address at the just concluded Stockholm Forum for Gender Equality.
While delivering the closing keynote address, Chimamanda told of how she had taken a book of poems she wrote to a “big man in the media” so he could support her in making the book go public, instead, he s.exually assaulted her.
She said he was friendly at first and impressed that someone her age had written a book. But the man soon came to her, slipped his hand under her shirt and bra, then squeezed her breast. She said she was so taken aback that she did nothing for seconds, then she pushed his hand away “gently”.
I was so taken aback that I did nothing for seconds. Then, I pushed his hand away, but gently, nicely, because I didn’t want to offend him.
Later that day, I broke into a rash on my chest, my neck, my face, as though my body were recoiling, as though my body were saying what my lips had not said.
I felt a deep loathing for that man and for what he did. I felt as if I didn’t matter, as if my body existed merely as a thing to be done with as he wanted. Yet, I told no one about it. And I kept talking to him, being polite, hoping he will help with my book.
Watch her make the revelation in the video below, starting from the 3:44:08 mark.