The Catholic University of Louvain has announced that it will be awarding Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie an honorary doctorate degree on April 22, The Guardian has reported. This will be the esteemed Nigerian writer’s 16th honorary Ph.D.
Located in Belgium, the Catholic University of Louvain is among the oldest Catholic universities in Europe. Pope Martin V founded the educational institution in 1425. The university is also Belgium’s largest French-speaking university, and its alumni include Belgium’s Queen Mathilde and mathematician Vitold Belevitch.
Explaining the reason behind their decision to honor Adichie, the university’s rector, Vincent Blondel, said the Academic Council deems Adichie’s work to be “remarkable in many ways and particularly inspiring for our university community.”
Blondel added that the 44-year-old manifests the “values that we wish to impart to our students, professors, researchers, and the entire university community.”
“For the new academic year, the university is highlighting the theme, ‘The fragility of truth.’ Adichie’s career, divided between fiction and the reality of struggles against all kinds of oppression, adequately illustrates this theme,” Blondel said.
Adichie has received honorary degrees from other prestigious universities including Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Yale University, Georgetown University, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Born September 15, 1977, to parents working at a university, Adichie started writing as soon as she could spell. It was, therefore, no surprise that she dropped out of a medical course to pursue communications and political science. Her first writings were a collection of poems called Decisions in 1997 and a play, For the Love of Biafra, in 1998.
She went ahead to publish Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah, The Thing Around Your Neck, We should all be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.
As a writer, she has received a number of awards including the MacArthur Genius Grant, Orange Prize, the Booker Prize, and the PEN Pinter Prize, among others. She has also been recognized by different organizations as one of Africa’s prominent women and writers.