Chimamanda Talks About Her Sister And The Love They Share On Vanity Fair

on

image

The Vanity Fair sister’s issue is up, and one of the sister stories that got featured on their website is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s, as she talks about her big sister and the love they share, read article below;

“I remember standing at the foot of the long stairway in our new house, too frightened to climb, everything big and unfamiliar, until my sister Uche silently took my hand and we went up together. I was 4; she was 15. It is my earliest memory of my attachment to her. But, according to family lore, the attachment started much earlier. I was a fussy baby whose nightly screaming was soothed only by her. Newly weaned, I would eat okra and liver sauce only if she fed me. “By the way,” she told me recently. “I ate all the liver—that’s why you didn’t grow tall.”

In my teenage years she was the glamorous big sister who was studying pharmacy at university and had a handsome boyfriend in a white car. I looked up to her. Her beautiful face, seamless grape-dark skin, the gap in her teeth inherited from our mother. I was in awe of her original style. She fashioned dangling earrings from parts of an abandoned chandelier and made bows for her shoes from old handbag straps. At the back of her notebooks were delicate sketches: dresses with large sashes, lavishly shaped trousers. Sometimes she went to her tailor’s shop in the market and stood over the sewing machine to make sure the details were right. Many of her clothes were handed down to me. At 12, I wore ruched, fitted dresses when my age-mates were still in little-girl clothes.

In my teenage years she was the glamorous big sister who was studying pharmacy at university and had a handsome boyfriend in a white car. I looked up to her. Her beautiful face, seamless grape-dark skin, the gap in her teeth inherited from our mother. I was in awe of her original style. She fashioned dangling earrings from parts of an abandoned chandelier and made bows for her shoes from old handbag straps. At the back of her notebooks were delicate sketches: dresses with large sashes, lavishly shaped trousers. Sometimes she went to her tailor’s shop in the market and stood over the sewing machine to make sure the details were right. Many of her clothes were handed down to me. At 12, I wore ruched, fitted dresses when my age-mates were still in little-girl clothes.

 I fled the study of medicine to become a writer; she is a successful pharmacist. We have different tastes. She touches my natural hair and says, “What is this rough mop?” And I ask of her long, straight weave, “What’s that plastic horsehair?”

Still, we ask each other’s opinions of outfits and hairstyles. We have long conversations about my book events and her pharmaceutical conferences. We talk and e-mail often. I love to spend weekends with her, her wonderful husband, Udodi, who is like a big brother to me, and her 18-year-old twin daughters.

Now I recognize what I most admire about her: her transparency, the absence of layers, the bright, focused light that is her loyalty. There is an immense solidity to her. To be her little sister is to feel always that a firm cushion exists at my back. When our father was kidnapped for ransom, it was her steady voice that stilled my despair. “You work so hard,” she told me once, simply, matter-of-factly, during an unproductive period, and it made everything seem better.

She turned 50 in early March. “Don’t get me cards that say, ‘Happy 50th birthday,’ ” she told my siblings and me. “Just ‘Happy birthday’ is fine.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s