Ghanaian writer and playwright Ama Ata Aidoo, known for her significant contributions to post-colonial African literature has passed away at the age of 81.
Aidoo, celebrated for her popular play “The Dilemma of a Ghost,” died in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a brief illness.
In an official statement, Kwamena Essandoh Aidoo, the family head, announced the sad news, saying, “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 passing of Aidoo, a renowned Ghanaian poet and author, has sent shockwaves throughout the literary community.
The Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) expressed its condolences in a letter signed by PAWA’s President, Hon John Rusimbi, and the Secretary-General, Dr. Wale Okediran.
The association extended sympathies to the family of the deceased, the government and people of the Republic of Ghana, as well as African writers at large, acknowledging the irreparable loss.
As a university professor, Ata Aidoo was the recipient of numerous literary accolades, including the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize for her novel “Changes,” a compelling love story centered around a statistician who navigates divorce and enters into a polygamous marriage.
Aidoo’s literary works, such as “The Dilemma of a Ghost,” “Our Sister Killjoy,” and “Changes,” showcased her commitment to portraying and celebrating the experiences of African women.
Throughout her career, Aidoo vocally opposed the Western perception that African women were downtrodden, instead depicting them as resilient and empowered. In the early 1980s, she also served as the Minister of Education in Ghana but resigned when she was unable to fulfill her goal of making education free.
Ama Ata Aidoo’s legacy as a gifted writer and feminist icon will undoubtedly endure, leaving a lasting impact on the African literary landscape.