Renowned Ghanaian author, playwright, and poet, Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo has passed on today, May 31 after a short illness in a statement released by her family.
In a press release directed to all media houses, Ebusuapanyin Kwabena Essando Aidoo, the family head of the Aidoo family has duly informed the public via the media that their beloved sister and mother, writer of the popular “No sweetness here” has passed on in the early hours of today following a short illness.
The prolific writer, born in 1942 has spurned award-winning novels, plays, short stories, children’s books, and poetry, which includes Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa (1965), Diplomatic Pounds, our sister killjoy (1977) Changes (1991), No sweetness here and others.
Her journey in literature is bliss as she won many prestigious awards which are credited to her creativity and her desire to influence generations through how she wove her words in writing. Her writings were also a tool of emancipation and feminism.
Adichie commended her heavily when she endorsed one of her books. “I occupy the space of a ‘Black African Happy Feminist’ because writers like Ama Ata Aidoo came before me. Her storytelling nurtured mine. Her worldview enlarged and validated mine” she stated
In 1982, Ama Ata Aidoo was appointed Minister of Education in Ghana, which recorded her as the woman to debut in that position.
In 2000, she established Mbaasem (which interpreted “Women’s Words”), a foundation that was committed to promoting Ghanaian and African women writers’ works.
As a colossus in Ghanaian literature history, her life has been captured in a documentary film directed by Yaw Badoe, titled “The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo” in 2014. Her extraordinary feats have also been scripted in Essays in Honour of Ama Ata Aidoo at 70: A Reader in African Cultural Studies, edited by Anne V. Adams.
She has bagged many prestigious honors which include: the Nelson Mandela Poetry Award for Someone Talking to Sometime, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa for her book Changes: A love story (1991), the premier UNESCO´s International PEN Women’s Committee Travel Fellowship went to her In 1992, in 1998, she was elected President of the African Visions Literature Tour, in 1999 she was honored with Ghana´s highest civil honor: Companion of the Star of Volta and other honors.
Christina Ama Ata Aidoo was born on March 23, 1942, in Abeadzi Kyiakor, near Saltpond, Gold Coast. She was a junior research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. She has served as a visiting professor and distinguished visiting professor to the English, African, and American Studies departments of several universities and colleges in the United States.