The speaker of the 2015 commencement address at Welesley College is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is a Nigerian novelist, short story writer, and feminist.
Throughout her speech, Adichie gives the audience various details about the path she took to become who she is today, details which appeal to emotions, but which also make her a credible speaker. The first important element about herself which the speaker draws attention to is the yellow head wrap she chose to wear (ll. 25-26) which reflects both her Nigerian heritage and the colour of the class graduating in 2015. Mentioning this has the purpose of building a connection with the audience, as well as establishing her identity.
Talking about wearing make-up has a similar effect as young women can relate to this habit. At the same time, this shows the audience that Adichie does not take herself too seriously and makes her come across as approachable.
She follows this with a personal story that reveals her experience of Igbo culture in Nigeria (l. 35), but also her own reflections on the topic at the age of 23: “I argued that it would be better if that honor were based on achievement rather than gender…” (ll. 39-41). This is meant to show the audience that the speaker has been an advo...