One of Ghana’s most celebrated writers, playwrights and feminists, Ama Ata Aidoo, has died at the old age of 81.
This was announced in a statement rreleased on Wednesday 31st May, 2023 by her family, where they expressed grief at the loss of their beloved relative and author, and urged privacy during this difficult time.
It was revealed that she died due to a brief illness she was facing at the time.
Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo was born om the 23rd of March, 1942, in a Fante Royal Household.
She was deeply influenced by her father, who had established the village’s first school.
At age 15, she aspired to be a writer, and surprisingly, within four years of being encouraged to enter an essay contest, she achieved her goal. She then went on to study literature at the University of Ghana, where she later became a lecturer and published her first play in 1964.
Throughout her career, Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo has portrayed and celebrated the experiences of African women in her work, including prominent titles such as ‘Dilemmas of the Ghosy’, ‘Our Sister Killjoy’, and ‘Changes’. She has been known to vehemently challenged Western perceptions of African women as oppressed and argued for their empowerment and agency.
Prof. Aidoo’s influence extended beyond her literary achievements as she served as the Minister of Education in 1982. She however resigned after 18 months from the position when she could not fulfill her vision of making education accessible to all Ghanaians free of charge.
Known for exploring the dichotomy between Western and African worldviews in her fiction, Professor Aidoo, who also served as a university professor, received numerous literary accolades throughout her career.
Notably, she was awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1992 for her novel ‘Changes’,a poignant love story about a statistician who divorces her first husband and enters into a polygamous marriage.
Her works, including plays like ‘Anowa’ and the well-known ‘No Sweetness Here’ have been widely read in schools across West Africa, alongside the works of other literary giants such as Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe.
The country mourns a great loss from the death of the impactful and celebrated author, Ama Ata Aidoo. She will forever be remembered as a legendary figure in Ghana’s literature.