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Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Named First African To Deliver Harvard University Class Day Speech

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie harvard speech

Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Becomes First African To Deliver Harvard University Class Day Speech

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie just became the first African ever to deliver the Harvard University Class Day Speech which is a major feature of the university’s annual graduation events. Class Day speakers are selected by the students themselves.

Previous speakers include last year’s speaker, former US Vice President under President Obama, Joe Biden; former President Bill Clinton; Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa; legendary music producer Quincy Jones; Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke; CNN Host Christiane Amampour; and Corretta Scott King, the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who delivered the very first Class Day speech in 1968 (Dr. King accepted the invitation before he was assassinated in April of that year, and his wife spoke in his place.)

Chimamanda’s speech on Wednesday at Harvard, included the importance of seeking to tell the truth in today’s world. She also spoke about while it is very important for people to be outraged, that it is crucial for one to understand the context in which an event took place or a statement was made- and the intent of the protagonist or speaker- before becoming offended or outraged. She exhorted the graduating students to be courageous in speaking the truth, as it may often mean that one is criticised for it, but that they will be able to gain true satisfaction from having maintained their integrity.

‘There is nothing more beautiful than to wake up every day holding in your hand the full measure of your integrity,’ she said. She received a standing ovation from the audience of approximately eight thousand people.

Watch the full speech below

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  1. Chioma

    May 28, 2018 at 10:43 PM

    Congratulations Ma’am! More grease to your elbow!

  2. iron bar

    May 29, 2018 at 2:04 AM

    This lady is making ways around the globe.congrats

  3. Lola O

    May 29, 2018 at 3:20 PM

    Another aspiring daughter of Nigeria. We honest and hardworking citizens appreciate you. Continue the good work of raising the banner for Nigeria. Congratulations dear.

  4. Jilo

    May 29, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    This young woman is not only honored for her articulate speech but has helped a lot by trying to redeem a little battered image of Nigeria. It really shows the world that there are some people of integrity among Nigerians.

    Chimamanda, I doff my hat for you. You made feel proud again but unfortunately we don’t have too many of you. We have been overtaken by bunch of idiots, unscrupulous and unprincipled individuals who cannot use their brain to reach the top ladder but all they are good at is how to steal people’s money and be proud of it.

    Folks, success is not measured in terms of money or how many properties we have, but how we can transform the lives through humanitarian and good work. Chimamanda is not only recognized in the US but around the globe just by doing what she knows how to do best through literature writing. She is more recognized than many leaders around the world. All I’m saying is, amassing money is not the only route to success or to be famous around the world but steadfastness and hardwork. Chimamanda may not be rich as our useless thieves calling themselves leaders but she can stand in front of millions around the world and feels honored.

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