A few days ago, a youtube video accusing Chimamanda Adichie of plagiarism began circulating on social media, academic listservs, and whatsapp groups.
The Wiley Agency, Adichie’s literary agency, just released a statement, which the author shared on her Facebook page. In addition to calling Giwa-Amu’s allegations “false” and “delusional,” Wiley revealed that Giwa-Amu had made this claim twice before. The last time, the case was thrown out of court for being “an abuse of court process” and Giwa-Amu asked to cover Adichie’s legal fees.
Giwa-Amu is a Nigerian-Welsh solicitor based in Cardiff. She claims in the video that “Half of a Yellow Sun is a plagiarized copy of Sade,” a novel she self-published in 1996 and seems to suggest that Chinua Achebe is implicated in the stealing of her work.
Giwa-Amu’s video accusing Adichie of plagiarizing her book comes barely a month after the BBC reported that she had won a discrimination case against the Cardiff Department for Work and Pensions. The department was ordered to pay close to £400,000.
From the comments on Giwa-Amu’s youtube page, the general impression seems to be that her case, as presented in the video, is not valid. Watch the video here and see Wylie’s statement below.
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