How Chimamanda used Achebe to steal my manuscript to produce “Half of A Yellow Sun” – Anne Giwa Amu

By Samuel Ogunsona

Famour author , Chimamanda Adochie has been accused of stealing manuscripts belonging to another writer to produce her epic novel, Half of a Yellow Sun”

The book depicts the story of Biafra and the travails.

In her claims, through a video clip made available to Irohinoodua, British lawyer and Author, Anne Giwa-Amu, who is also the author of the literary work titled “SADE” accused Chimamanda Adichie, of plagiarism of plagiarism and fraud.

In the viral YouTube video Anne claims the manuscript of her book titled “SADE” sent to Chinua Achebe for editing was passed on to Chimamanda who until her publication was unknown in the literary world.

She said Achebe, the veteran writer and author of “Things fall apart”, Chinua Achebe played his role to promote Chimamanda being of the same Igbo stock with him and being her family friend.

Anne in the video made available to Irohinodua challenged Chimamanda to prove her innocence by publishing her email correspondence with Chinua Achebe, publishing the original manuscript she sent to the editors and by publishing the editors’

She said, “I am a solicitor and the author of my novel SADE. I first discovered that Chimamanda Adichie had copied SADE in 2013 when I saw a poster in London advertising the film Half Of A Yellow Sun. The poster depicts to the love story between a mixed race woman played by Thandie Newton and an Igbo man played by Chiwetel Ejiofor set in the Nigeria-Biafra war. As this was the unusual story of SADE, it provoked me to purchase a copy of “Half Of A Yellow Sun.”

She said on receiving the book, “I found out that the front cover of Half Of A Yellow Sun was similar to SADE. They both had a profile picture of a young African woman with the colors of the Biafran flag excluding green. On reading Half Of A Yellow Sun, I discovered it was a rewrite of SADE which was misattributed to an Igbo woman Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.”

In the video, she put forward evidence to show that after Heinemann in Nigeria published SADE in 1999, Chinua Achebe contacted Chimamanda Adichie who started to work on the inferencing novel with the assistance of three editors.”

Anne who narrated the role of Chinua Achebe in her book “SADE” also revealed how she interviewed many personalities who had worked in the Biafra propaganda.

“In 1992, I began to write my novel which I initially titled THE HUMAN SACRIFICE. I interviewed many people including Doctor Patrick David who had worked in the Biafran propaganda with the late Nigerian broadcaster, writer and publisher, Chinua Achebe. On completing my manuscript, I sent it out to a number of publishing houses and I received positive reviews. However, I was once told there was a lack of market for work by African writers.”

She spoke further “In 1995, I sent my manuscript to Heinenam Education Books in the UK. Chinua Achebe had been a founding editor of the African writers series established to promote works by African writers. I was provided with two editors, reports by Victoria Pearl Alias and Rita Omonipo recommending my manuscript for publication and to the African writers series. I worked with the editors and make the recommended changes which included changing the title from HUMAN SACRIFICE to SADE, which was the name of the heroine in my novel. The completed manuscript was sent to the series editor Abdulrasaq Gumah for final decision and after many months of waiting, Abdulrasaq said I will not publish due to a drop in the demand for books in the African writers series. As Chinua Achebe had set up an independent publishing house in Nigeria using the name Education Books Nigerian Limited, It was suggested I sent my work to Nigeria” she added

Speaking further she said, “Following the positive reviews, I decided to self publish. In 1996, I had set my right to be identified as the author of SADE in accordance with the Copyright Patent Act in the UK. I submitted a copy of SADE at the British library. My book was launched at the African Centre in London. I was interviewed by BBC world service and SADE was reviewed by over 20 magazines and newspapers.”

She said “In 1998, I sent a copy of my manuscript to Heinemann Educational Books Nigeria where Chinua Achebe sat on the board of directors as the main decision maker. Olawale Solo, an employee at Heinemann asked me to put forward a subtitle for the Nigerian edition and I suggested “the rising sun” or “united we stand”. I was told by Olawale Solo that a professor read and accepted the publication at senior secondary school level.

In 1999, SADE was published by Heinemann to be sold in Nigeria and used with the subtitle SADE: United we stand. I granted Heinemann a 20-year license which expired in 2019.

She said the license required “my written permission before any addition could be made to SADE”

She said, “Chimamanda claimed she had carried out her research for Half Of A Yellow Sun at British library in London where I had submitted SADE. Due to the close relationship between Achebe and Adichie families, coupled with the fact that Chimamanda had no experience of the civil war as she was born in 1977. Questions have been asked about the true role Chinua Achebe played in Chimamanda’a writing and her rapid rise to fame”

“In a country with a population of 170 million, it is an extraordinary coincidence that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in the house that had once belonged to Chinua Achebe. Adichie’s father worked at the University of Nigeria. In fact, he became Nigeria’s first Professor of statistics in 1976”. She added.

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