The world has lost a literary icon as Ama Ata Aidoo, a revered Ghanaian author, has passed away at the age of 81. According to a statement released by her family, the celebrated writer died in the early hours of Wednesday, May 31, after a brief illness.
Aidoo’s numerous works, which include award-winning novels, plays, short stories, children’s books, and poetry, have inspired generations of African women writers.
Her impact on African literature was recognized in the 2014 documentary film, The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo, directed by Yaba Badoe. Born Christina Ama Ata Aidoo on March 23, 1942, in Abeadzi Kyiakor, near Saltpond, in the Central Region of Ghana, Aidoo grew up in a Fante royal household during a time of resurgent British neocolonialism. Her grandfather’s murder by neocolonialists inspired her father to open the first school in their village and influenced Aidoo’s decision to become a writer. She attended Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in Cape Coast and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Ghana, Legon. Aidoo’s contributions to African literature were recognized with numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Changes (1991). In addition to her literary achievements, she served as Ghana’s Minister of Education under the Jerry Rawlings administration and established the Mbaasem Foundation to support African women writers. Her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of writers and readers alike.
Celebrated Ghanaian poet and author Professor Ama Ata Aidoo has died. The respected writer is said to have passed on in the early hours of today, Wednesday, May 31 after a short illness.
The family announced her death in a press statement.
“The Family of Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo with deep sorrow but in the hope of the resurrection, informs the general public that our beloved relative and writer passed away in the early hours of this morning Wednesday 31st May 2023, after a short illness.
“Funeral arrangements would be announced in due course. The Family requests privacy at this difficult moment,” Family head Kwamena Essandoh Aidoo announced in a short statement.
Prof. Ata Aidoo has published award-winning novels, plays, short stories, children’s books, and poetry, and influenced generations of African women writers.
As a further testament to her influence, the author was the subject of the excellent 2014 documentary film, The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo, directed by Yaba Badoe.
Her accomplishments have been heralded in Essays in Honour of Ama Ata Aidoo at 70: A Reader in African Cultural Studies, edited by Anne V. Adams.
Christina Ama Ata Aidoo was born on 23 March 1942 in Abeadzi Kyiakor, near Saltpond, in the Central Region of Ghana.
She was raised in a Fante royal household, the daughter of Nana Yaw Fama, chief of Abeadzi Kyiakor, and Maame Abasema. She grew up at a time of resurgent British neocolonialism that was taking place in her homeland.
Her grandfather was murdered by neocolonialists, which brought her father’s attention to the importance of educating the children and families of the village on the history and events of the era.
This led him to open up the first school in their village and influenced Aidoo to attend Wesley Girls’ High School, where she first decided she wanted to be a writer.
Aidoo attended Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in Cape Coast, from 1961 to 1964. After high school, she enrolled at the University of Ghana, Legon, where she obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts in English.
she received international recognition as one of the most prominent African writers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost, was published in 1965, making Aidoo the first published African woman dramatist. As a novelist, she won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Changes (1991), She was the Minister of Education in Ghana under the Jerry Rawlings administration.
In 2000, she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers. She also lived and taught in the United States, Europe, and Zimbabwe.
She is renowned for her contributions to African literature