Ama Ata Aidoo, (Christina Ama Ata Aidoo) was born on March 23, 1942 in Abeadzi Kyiakor, near Saltpond, in the central region of Ghana to Nana Yaw Fama, chief of Abeadzi Kyiakor, and Maame Abasema. She is an author, poet, playwright and academic. She attended Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast between 1961 and 1964, where the headmistress bought her her first typewriter. After high school, she enrolled at the University of Ghana in Legon and received her Bachelor of Arts in English. It was there she wrote her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost, in 1964. The play was published by Longman the following year, making Aidoo the first published African woman dramatist.
Ama Ata Aiddo has written numerous novels, short stories and contributed to many anthologies. Some of her books include Our Sister Killjoy, The Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa, The Girl Who Can, Diplomatic Pounds and Other Stories. She has worked in numerous leadership positions including political ones. She was appointed Minister of Education under the Provisional National Defence Council in 1982. She resigned after 18 months.
She held a fellowship in creative writing, 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 lived in America, Britain, Germany, and Zimbabwe. Aidoo taught various English courses at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, in the early to mid-1990s. She was a visiting professor in the Africana Studies Department at Brown University for seven years (2003 – 2010)
Ama Ata Aidoo is a patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature created in 2013 as a platform for African writers of debut books of fiction. She currently lives in Ghana, where in 2000 she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers.
Happy birthday!!!! We love you, Ama Ata Aidoo!
Credit: Our Paths To Greatness