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Ama Ata Aidoo Passes On

Professor Ama Ata Aidoo


One of Ghana’s celebrated African writers and poets Professor Ama Ata Aidoo has died after a short illness.

She passed away in the early hours of Wednesday May 31, 2023.

She was 81.

In a press statement, the family announced, “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.”

The family head, Kwamena Essandoh Aidoo added, “Funeral arrangements would be announced in due course.”

The family requests of the general public privacy in its difficult moments of grief.

Ama Ata Aidoo was a Ghanaian author, poet, playwright and academic. With a career spanning more than five decades, she received international recognition as one of the most prominent African writers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

She was regarded as the first African woman dramatist after her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost in 1965.

One of her topmost literary awards is the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Changes which she received in 1991.

The prolific writer has published award-winning novels, plays, short stories, children’s books and poetry – that influenced generations of African women writers.

She served as Ghana’s Minister of Education in the early 1980s. She later moved to Zimbabwe to become a full-time writer and also lived and taught in the United States.

Her work including plays like Anowa have been read in schools across West Africa, along with works of other greats like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe.

Her departure has left a significant void in the literary world, as her insightful and thought-provoking works touched the hearts and minds of readers worldwide.

By George Clifford Owusu

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