Ghana News & Trends

Renowned Ghanaian author and feminist Ama Ata Aidoo passes away at 81

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Ama Ata Aidoo, one of Africa’s most celebrated authors and playwrights, has passed away at the age of 81.

Born in 1942 in a small village in Ghana, she had a profound impact on literature and feminism in Africa.

Ama Ata Aidoo

Aidoo was known for her depiction and celebration of the condition of African women in her works, such as The Dilemma of a Ghost, Our Sister Killjoy, and Changes.

She opposed the Western perception that African women were downtrodden and worked to challenge these stereotypes.

In addition to her literary contributions, Aidoo served as the education minister in Ghana in the early 1980s.

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However, she resigned from the position when she was unable to fulfill her goal of providing free education.

As a university professor, Aidoo received numerous literary awards for her novels, plays, and poems.

Her novel Changes, which tells a love story about a statistician entering a polygamous marriage after divorcing her first husband, won the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Aidoo’s works, including her plays like Anowa, have been widely read in schools across West Africa, alongside the works of other great African authors like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe.

She was a major influence on younger generations of writers, including Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Adichie praised Aidoo’s ability to create complex and believable female characters in her works.

Ama Ata Aidoo’s powerful criticism of colonialism and the exploitation of Africa’s resources was incorporated by Nigerian musician Burna Boy in his song “Monsters You Made” in 2020.

Born into a family with a strong educational background, Aidoo discovered her passion for writing at a young age.

She achieved her dream of becoming a writer when she won a short story competition at the age of 19.

This affirmation led her to study literature at the University of Ghana and eventually become a lecturer.

After a brief foray into politics, Aidoo spent time in self-imposed exile in Zimbabwe before dedicating herself to writing full-time.

Ama Ata Aidoo’s contributions to literature, feminism, and African culture have left a lasting impact, and she will be remembered as a remarkable author and playwright.

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Head of content and Editor-at-large at – Dickson Ofori Siaw is a blunt writer who loves to make his readers see "the other perspectives of a news story". Follow me on Twitter @kwadwo_dost