Chibundu Onuzo, Expanding the Perspective on Africa


Chibundu Onuzo, Ph.D., is the acclaimed and award-winning author of “The Spider King’s Daughter” and “Welcome to Lagos.” Currently a freelance writer in the UK, she was born in Nigeria. She started writing at 17 and was published by 21.


If you’re interested in what it takes to become one of the youngest writers named as Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, hear the journey of author Chibundu Onuzo. She started writing her first novel at age 14, and her first book hit the shelves age 21. She discusses her early years writing and creating, her path to traditional publication, the journey since.

Additionally, Chibundu and Zeze dive into meaningful cultural conversations, such as tackling cultural ignorance, what defines “Third Culture African,” and the layered meaning behind the question, “where are you from?”

Highlights of the episode:

  • Experiences have added value; understanding the context of the question, “Where are you from?” (9:28)
  • The decision to pursue the traditional publishing route over self-publishing and how she went about finding her representation (12:12)
  • Realizing how people in the West have this narrow perspective of what Africa is like (27:19)
  • Becoming a full-time writer and writing for the screen (35:36)
  • Combating ageism in literary circles and what was the hardest part of publishing in the beginning (43:22)

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