Friday, 24 May

Literary icon Ama Ata Aidoo dies at 81

Renowned Ghanaian author Ama Ata Aidoo

Ama Ata Aidoo has died.

The renowned Ghanaian poet and author passed after a short illness. She was 81.

In a statement issued today, Wednesday morning, May 31, 2023, her family, led by Kwamena Essandoh Aidoo, confirmed the news.

“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," the statement announced. “Funeral arrangements would be announced in due course. The Family requests privacy at this difficult moment.”


A prolific writer, Prof Ata Aidoo's career of more than five decades spawned award-winning novels, plays, short stories, children’s books, and poetry.

She influenced generations of African writers and creative artists.

The 12th track of Burna Boy's Grammy-winning Twice As Tall album titled The Monsters You Made features a snippet of Prof Ama Ata Aidoo ranting about the havoc of colonialism and imperialism.

Also, according to multiple award-winning rapper M.anifest, his critically acclaimed 2016 Nowhere Cool album was inspired by Prof Aidoo; in fact, she is featured on Now Here Cool, track (13), together with singer Cina Soul.

In the 2014 documentary film, The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo, directed by Ghanaian-British filmmaker Yaba Badoe, explored the artistic contribution of the trailblazing artist and activist.

Ms Aidoo, a royal, fathered by a Fante chief, Nana Yaw Fama, of Abeadzi Kyiakor, Saltpond, Central Region, attended Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in Cape Coast, Central Region, from 1961 to 1964.

After high school, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English degree at the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, where she also wrote her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost, in 1964. The following year, the play was published by Longman, making Aidoo the first published African woman dramatist.

The Ghanaian playwright was born Christina Ama Ata Aidoo, her twin brother was Kwame Ata, and her mother was called Maame Abasema.

The iconic Prof Aidoo's celebrated works include: Changes: A Love Story, Our Sister Killjoy, The Girl Who Can, Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa, etc.

Source: Benjamin