Ghanaian author, poet, playwright, and academic Professor Ama Ata Aidoo dies at age 81.
With a career spanning more than five decades, she died on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, her family has announced.
“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, May 31, 2023, after a short illness.
“Funeral arrangements would be announced in due course. The family requests privacy at this difficult moment,” family head Kwamena Essandoh Aidoo announced in a short statement.
Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo received international recognition as one of the most prominent African writers of the 20th and 21st centuries.
She was born on March 23, 1942, at Abeadzi Kyiakor near Saltpond in the Central Region of Ghana.
She attended Wesley Girls’ High School and the University of Ghana.
The writer, whose work was written in English, emphasized the paradoxical position of the modern African woman.
Prof. Aidoo began to write seriously while an honors student at the University of Ghana in 1964.
She won early recognition with a problem play, The Dilemma of a Ghost (1965), in which a Ghanaian student returning home brings his African American wife into the traditional culture and the extended family that he now finds restrictive.
Their dilemma reflects Aidoo’s characteristic concern with the “been-to” (African educated abroad), voiced again in her semi-autobiographical experimental first novel, Our Sister Killjoy: or, Reflections from a Black-Eyed Squint (1966).
Prof. Aidoo herself won a fellowship at Stanford University in California, returned to teach at Cape Coast, Ghana (1970–82), and subsequently accepted various visiting professorships in the United States and Kenya.