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Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, nonfiction and short story writer sets the stage for African literature and young women everywhere. She is both a prominent feminist and one of the most prominent authors of African Literature, as reported by Vogue and The Times Literary Supplement.

Ten Facts About Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  1. Adichie was born on 15 September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents, Grace Ifeoma and James Nwoye Adichie.
  2. Adichie’s father, who is now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, located in Nsukka. He was Nigeria’s first professor of statistics, and later became Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Her mother was the first female registrar at the same institution.
  3. At the age of nineteen, Adichie left for the United States. She received a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, and she went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University.
  4. Adichie completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, as reported by Harvard.
  5. During her senior year at Eastern, Adichie started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was released in October 2003. The book has received wide critical acclaim; according to Adichie’s personal site, it was shortlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book.
  6. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun is set before and during the Biafran War. It was published in August 2006 in the United Kingdom and in September 2006 in the United States.
  7. Adichie’s third book, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), is a collection of short stories.
  8. Her latest Novel Americanhah, was published around the world in 2013, and has received numerous accolades, including winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and The Chicago tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction; and being named on of the New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year.
  9. Adichie’s 2009 TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” has had more than eight million views.
  10. Reported in Vogue, Adichie loves teaching, and claims, “I want to make it valid, to dream about books and writing. Because in Nigeria it’s very hard; people will say to you, what do you mean, ‘writing’? Nigerians are a very, very practical people. And while I admire practicality, I feel we need to make a space for dreaminess.”

Megan Hadley

Photo: Flickr

brck_africa
In the increasingly mechanized West, it is impossible to imagine daily life without constant connectivity—21st century consumers are defined by their smartphones, computers, and in general, their constant ability to participate in the internet community. With this omnipresence of technology, benefits are innumerable. However, in Africa, where much of the population lives in rural areas, connectivity is sparse.

Technology is inescapable in today’s globalized world: in order to compete, one must be connected. Luckily, the Kenyan nonprofit tech startup Ushahidi has recognized Africa’s dire need for technology. Their latest design, BRCK, seems to be a feasible solution. The device works as a modem that can connect 20 devices simultaneously and allow access to the Internet via WiFi, 3G, 4G, and Ethernet. The device can even function through a battery, providing constant access on a continent too often burdened with power blackouts.

From its origins, BRCK has received widespread support as an innovative product with the potential to revolutionize African technology. The project, which received its funding through Kickstarter, has energized the entire continent. With reliable Internet access, almost every African industry would progress prodigiously.

In her talk at TED, Ushahidi co-founder stressed the importance of BRCK, and by extension, technology, in the development of Africa. She said: “The idea is that the building blocks of the digital economy are connectivity and entrepreneurship. The BRCK is our part to keep Africans connected, and to help them drive the global digital revolution.”

Clearly, with reliable technology, the future of Africa is no longer nebulous. With equal access to information and markets, an auspicious change seems inevitable. With its solid design and brilliant inventors, BRCK appears to be the exact agent of change needed to propel Africa forward.

Furthermore, outside of the continent, BRCK has also received enormous attention. For those constantly on the go, whether for work or recreation, a reliable connection is indispensable. The product is now being sold for around 200 US dollars.

– Anna Purcell

Sources: Yahoo News, TED
Photo: Quartz