Remembering Ama Ata Aidoo

With much sadness, we announce the passing of a well-known and beloved African writer, Ama Ata Aidoo, playwright, poet, and novelist on May 31, 2023. Aidoo was born in 1942 near Saltpond, in the former Gold Coast. A trailblazer for African women writers, Aidoo was unequivocally and unashamedly feminist with a capital “F”. As part of Africa’s first-generation women writers, Aidoo’s voice defined the African woman beyond victimhood; she affirmed African women as agents and shunned the essentialism that usually tags descriptions of African feminism (Interview BBC HARDtalk, July 22, 2014). Some of her well-known novels and plays include The Dilemma of a Ghost, Our Sister Killjoy, Changes and Anowa. These and other works have inspired a generation of African students and aspiring young writers. She was not only a visionary writer, but she was also an educator and activist who served in Ghana’s national government as Secretary for Education from 1982 to 1983. She was a founding member of the African Literature Association (and the Women’s Caucus within the ALA), and was one of the speakers at its 2015 conference in Bayreuth, Germany. She won many literary awards including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1992 for her novel, Changes. Ama Ata Aidoo has been an inspiration to women, scholars, and students of African literature and beyond.  Her writerly presence will continue to grace the canon of African literature.