Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Agents Address Plagiarism Accusation

The Wylie Agency has addressed the accusation made against Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie by Nigerian-Welsh writer, Anne Giwa-Amu, who alleged that Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was a re-write of her novel, Sade.

Speaking for Adichie, the Wylie Agency on Monday said the claim made by Ms Giwa-Amu was false. “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her publishers had never heard of Giwa-Amu’s novel until she brought her delusional claim,” the statement said.

Giwa-Amu said she began writing her novel in 1992. It wasn’t published until 1996 because UK publishers claimed that there was no market for African books at the time. She said she later sent a copy of her manuscript to Nigeria’s Heinemann Educational Books Ltd then-helmed by the late Chinua Achebe.

“Chinua Achebe, a writer linked to the Biafra propaganda effort, was the main decision-maker on the Board of Directors at Heinemann,” Giwa-Amu said in her publication. “I received a letter that Chinua Achebe read and accepted my novel, ‘Sade’, for publication for senior secondary schools in Nigeria under the sub-title ‘Sade United We Stand.’”

She alleged that Adichie and Achebe had a father-daughter relationship. She further noted that upon acquiring the copyright of her book in 1996, a copy was sent to the British library where, according to Ms Giwa-Amu, Ms Adichie said she did the research for her book.

In 2016, she filed sued Adichie and her publishers of copyright infringement, but that case was tossed out of the court.

Now, with the expiration of the copyright licence of Sade in 2019, why Giwa-Amu is back stirring the accusation.

“Chimamanda Adichie should not be allowed to reap where she did not sow simply because she was chosen by Achebe to take over from him,” she continued. “It is time for Chimamanda to tell the truth and put to rest the ‘ghost of the father of the African novel’ that haunts her work,” she said.

Which is why Adichie’s agents at the Wylie agency have addressed the matter.

The wrote on Adichie’s Facebook:

We, the Wylie Agency, are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s literary agents.

In 2016, Anne Giwa-Amu brought a legal claim against Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her publishers. Giwa-Amu alleged that Adichie’s novel HALF OF A YELLOW SUN had plagiarized her own novel. A professional independent reader was appointed to read both novels. The reader concluded that there was absolutely no basis for Giwa-Amu’s claim and advised that the claim should not be pursued. Giwa-Amu nevertheless continued with the claim.

On 15 February 2019, Anne Giwa-Amu’s claim brought against Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her publishers was struck out by the court. The court determined that her claim was ‘an abuse of the court’s process.’ The court ordered Giwa-Amu to pay Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her publishers the sum of £14,250, which Giwa-Amu failed to pay. The court also ordered Giwa-Amu to pay the legal costs Adichie incurred in defending her baseless claim. Till date, Giwa-Amu has not paid the money.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her publishers had never heard of Giwa-Amu’s novel until she brought her delusional claim. Her present allegations are false, libellous and constitute a harassment to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Further legal actions are being taken.

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