Ama Ata Aidoo: celebrated Ghanaian author passes on at 81

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Ghanaian celebrated author and playwright Professor Ama Ata Aidoo passed on at the age of 81. Her death was announced on Wednesday with the family reporting that the Professor passed on in the early hours of May 31, 2023, after a short illness.

“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 family announced.

Brief Background of Ama Ata Aidoo

Born at Abeadzi Kyiakor near Saltpond in the Central Region of Ghana in 1942, Ama Ata Aidoo who was christened Christiana Ama Ata Aidoo at birth schooled at the Wesley Girls Senior High School in the Central Region of Ghana. She proceeded to the University of Ghana and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English.

She wrote her first play The Drama of a Ghost in 1964 and became the first African woman dramatist to be published when the play was published by Longman the following year. Another of her most popular works, Anowa was published in 1971 after she returned to Ghana to teach English after her time at Stanford University in California.

Her first novel, Our Sister Killjoy was published in 1977 and another, Changes won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Africa) in 1992. Professor Ama Ata Aidoo’s work in poetry was also notable as she won the Nelson Mandela Prize for Poetry in 1987 with her collection Someone Talking to Sometime.

Some of her other works include No Sweetness Here: A Collection of Short Stories, The Eagle and the Chickens and Other Stories (for children), An Angry Letter in January (poems) and The Girl Who Can and Other Stories.

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