Ama Ata Aidoo, one of Africa`s oldest best author, pan-African feminist, academician, an internationally recognized literary giant, poet, intellectual Ghanaian figure, playwright and has contributed to Africa’s renaissance.
Born on 23 March 1942 in Saltpond in the Central Region of Ghana was raised in a Fante royal household, the daughter of Nana Yaw Fama, chief of Abeadzi Kyiakor, and Maame Abasema. Her father, an advocate of Western education sent her to the Wesley Girl’s High School in Cape Coast from 1961 to 1964 where the headmistress of the School bought her first typewriter. After high school, she enrolled at the University of Ghana, Legon where she obtained a degree in Bachelor of Arts in English.
Ama Ata Aidoo worked in the United States, where she held a fellowship in creative writing at Stanford University, California. She also served as a research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, and as a lecturer in English at the University of Cape Coast, eventually rising there to the position of professor.
She has also spent a great deal of time teaching and living abroad for months at a time. She has lived in the United States, Britain, Germany and Zimbabwe.
As a professor, Professor Aidoo was an exception when it comes to comparative literature and postcolonial literature. Some of Christiana Aidoo’s notable works were ,The Dilemma of a Ghost (1965), Anowa (1970), Our Sister Killjoy (1977), Changes (1993).
Ama Ata Aidoo also became the subject of a 2014 documentary film, The Art of Ama- ata Aidoo, made by Yaba Badoe.
Awards Aidoo has received include the 1992 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Africa) for her novel Changes. The Aidoo-Snyder book prize, awarded by the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association for an outstanding book published by a woman that prioritizes African women’s experiences, is named in honour of Ama Ata Aidoo and of Margaret C. Snyder, who was the founding director of UNIFEM.
Launched in March 2017, the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing (Aidoo Centre), under the auspices of the Kojo Yankah School of Communications Studies at the African University College of Communications (AUCC) in Adabraka, Accra, was named in her honour — the first centre of its kind in West Africa, with Nii Ayikwei Parkes as its director.
Ama was appointed Minister of Education under the Provisional National Defence Council in 1982. She resigned after 18 months upon realising that she would be unable to achieve her aim of making education in Ghana freely accessible to all.
In 2000, she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers.
Ama Ata Aidoo ‘s greatest strength is her ability to mix humor and hope with the serious issues of gender and social conflict.