LAGOS, NIGERIA – For those familiar with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, she never ceases to disappoint in her eloquence, brilliance and sharp assessments. As expected, she delivered a candid and provocative keynote address at the 62nd Nigerian Bar Association Annual Conference theme; Bold Transition. Her thesis centered on the audacious act of being “disruptive” and “troublesome.”
“Make good trouble,” she declared in reference to the late African-American Civil Rights Leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis. The call was made for Nigerians across all levels of society, irrespective of profession, religious leadership, social affiliation, educational level, wealth or lack their of, to act heroically in the most ordinary measures, or extraordinary circumstances to uphold “truth and justice,” Ofo na Ogu, to save the soul of the nation, Nigeria.
Chimamanda shared a personal story about the acquiescence of those whom boldly criticized government corruption nonetheless, cowered in silence rather than confront and hold accountable the injustices committed by religious leaders, pertaining to the Catholic Priest’s desecration of her mother’s funeral rites.
Remaining quiet for the sake of “peace” is an attitude amongst Nigerians that disrupts peace, and nurtures injustice. Corruption exists from the enabling of bystanders unwilling to take a stand, especially those in positions of power. Her call for self reflective criticism, accountability and courage was directly addressed when speaking on the subject of sexism. A blatant example on display by the NBA’s conference itself; as soccer competitions offered disproportionate award winnings for the men’s team 500,000 Naira and the women’s team 200,000 Naira. We shall see if the NBA made a “bold transition” setting the tone for the trajectory of Africa’s most populous nation and the children who will inherit the African Giant.
To the Nigerian Bar Association,
We are counting on you to act as our collective social conscience in the upcoming elections.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We know the beginning of a bold transition can sometimes take just one person.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie