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Chimamanda Adichie Says She Was Sexually Molested At 17

Chimamanda Adichie has said that she was molested when she was 17. She said this while presenting a speech at the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality in Sweden on Tuesday.

According to her, she had gone to seek help in Lagos from a man for her book launch which she describes as “really bad poetry”.

“There was a powerful man in the media who I knew could help with this book launch. And so I found my way to his office in Lagos and I told him about my book. ‘Would he please support the book?’ I asked. He was very impressed that while other teenagers were hardly reading at all, I was serious and focused enough to have written a book”.

“He was pleasant, warm and then he got up from his desk and walked around to where I was seated, and he stood behind me, and in a move that was as swift as it was shocking, he slipped his hands under my buttoned-down shirt, under my bra and squeezed my breast”.

She also said that she was shocked and went numb for a few seconds before she ‘pushed his hands away, but gently, nicely because I did not 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 was saying what my lips were not saying. I felt a deep loathing for that man and for what he did. I felt as if I didn’t matter; yet I told no one about it and I kept talking to him, being polite, hoping he would help”.

She adds that she was a feminist long before she knew the meaning. “I knew that the world would not give to women the same dignities it gave to men”.


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