Ms Anne Giwa-Amu, 60, who is the author of the book titled “Sade” accused Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie of Plagiarism and Chimamanda has now responded.
Giwa-Amu said Chimamanda’s “Half of a Yellow Sun” was in fact plagiarised with bits of her work; “Sade: United we stand.”
In a YouTube video, Anne accused Chimamanda of plagiarism then accused Chinua Achebe of playing a role in “giving” her work to Chimamanda who then rewrote it as Half of a Yellow Sun.
Giwa Amu explained how she published her work with the late Achebe. She had her work reviewed by Heinemann’s African Writers Series, of which Achebe was the Editorial Adviser. Her writing agreement with them lasted till 2019.
Also, Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun was vetted by Achebe.
Giwa-Amu claims Chimamanda stole bits of her work with the help of Achebe. She went on to share documents to validate her claims.
She said she first discovered Chimamanda had copied her work “Sade” in 2013 when she saw a poster in London advertising the film Half of a Yellow Sun.
Giwa-Amu adds in the YouTube video: “As this was the original story of Sade, it provoked me to purchase a copy of Half of a Yellow Sun. On receiving the book, I found 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 colours of the Biafran flag, excluding green.
“On reading Half of a Yellow Sun, I discovered that it was a rewrite of Shade.”
She continued: “In this video, I’ll put forward evidence to show that after Heimannn Publishers published Shade in 1999, Chinua Achebe contacted Chimamanda Adichie who started to work on the infringing novel with the assistance of three editors.”
She went on to share her “evidence” in the 12-minute video below.
She also released some documents on her website which she says supports her claims that Chimamanda stole her work (see here).
Her accusations led to arguments on Twitter as some supported her, saying they saw the similarities between both books, while some defended Chimamanda.
Chimamanda has now responded on Facebook.
In a statement written by Wylie Agency, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s literary agents. it was revealed that “Anne Giwa-Amu brought a legal claim against Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her publishers” in 2016. On February 15, 2019, Anne Giwa-Amu’s legal claim was struck out by the court.”
They denied the claims made by Giwa-Amu, adding that “her present allegations are false, libellous and constitute a harassment to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”. They said that “further legal actions are being taken.”
The statement reads:
STATEMENT REGARDING FALSE CLAIMS FROM ANNE GIWA-AMU
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.
Signed: The Wylie Agency
Below are Twitter reactions to Chimamanda’s statement.