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No Ma’aam, Chimamanda Adichie’s Use of “F*uck You” on a TV Interview is NOT Free Speech, and it Ain’t No Finding of “Her TRUE Voice”


I was reading a response to my article from a writer who took issue and claims Adichie’s use of “fuck you” on a TV interview, albeit web,  is “freedom of speech” and we should celebrate her finding her “true voice.” What preposterous ridiculousness? I tried leaving a comment but it seemed futile. So, I wanted to address those points here.

Freedom of speech as every one knows or should  know does have its own limitations.

Further, there is a time and place for EVERYTHING. Adichie is a celebrated wordsmith who clearly wants us to think she is not as tightly wound up as we may perceive her to be. However, again, there is a time and place for everything and even Jay-z one of the top wordsmiths of our time who liberally uses all kinds of curse words possibly to convey his thoughts poetically through rap music, knows to put all that aside in a TV interview.

Adichie’s so called “true voice” if we should even argue that, one would think should not be “fuck you” because most people say “fuck you” so what’s so unique or “true” about that voice??!

Anyway, find an edited (for names) part of my argument below on an FB back that conveys my thoughts hopefully even more succinctly. My conclusion is that we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

“Let’s separate the two issues. The choice of language is not the issue. The appropriate forum for such a language is the issue. In my world at least, the use of the f word is quite rampant, at least on the criminal defense side of things. Also, believe it or not, from the President of the US to every possible top entertainer, lawyers or judges, you will hear the curse word used, when the camera for the most part is off. When the camera is on and especially in an interview, adults know to fall back and avoid using it. Adichie just had an interview on NPR and the same question was posed and she did not give such an answer. She respected the forum . Here, I believe she shows a disrespect to the forum and to listeners that may not have expected neither were interested in hearing such language used under the silly guise of having a voice.

At 26 she decided to write professionally and went into the profession with her own preconceived notion of how writers are supposed to sound or look. That she was pretentious about who she is doesn’t make her so called “true voice” i.e. “fuck you” appropriate under this particular platform. Finally, what’s with privileged persons like Adichie crying wolf with respect to the choices they make to please their parents or other third parties. There are other Nigerians that grow up in the same Nigeria that have chosen and continue to choose a path contrary to what their parents or others want. We see them in almost every sector and even more so now in the entertainment field.  .  .  Adichie doesn’t even say she was coerced by her parents. She says she wanted to be a writer and thought writers behaved a certain way. Her use of that language was inappropriate on that forum.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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