Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, a renowned Ghanaian author, poet and playwright has passed on at age 81.
Aidoo who had an illustrious career spanning over five decades, died on Wednesday morning May 31, 2023. Kwamena Essandoh, the family head said in a 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.”
The renowned feminist depicted and celebrated the condition of African women in works such as The Dilemma of a Ghost, Our Sister Killjoy and Changes. She opposed what she described as a “Western perception that the African female is a downtrodden wretch”.
She also served as Ghana’s education minister in the early 1980s but resigned when she could not make education free.
Ata won many literary awards for her novels, plays and poems, including the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Changes, a love story about a statistician who divorces her first husband and enters into a polygamist marriage.
Her work, including plays like Anowa, have been read in schools across West Africa, along with works of other greats like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. She was a major influence on the younger generation of writers, including Nigeria’s awarding-winning Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Nigerian Afrobeats superstar Burna Boy included her powerful criticism of colonialism and ongoing exploitation of Africa’s resources in his song Monsters You Made in 2020.