Did you know I’m extremely proud that you’ve choose to take such an internationally aware syllabus course? I mean we have two Indians writing up prose, a Nigerian getting a post, two Brits in drama and an assortment of really old dudes in poetry, but best of all, we have one of Ghana’s own in there: Ama Ata Aidoo writes the plays The Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa.
Ms. Aiddo is not only the second modern feminist we’re studying about for A Level, she’s also a versatile writer. She has had more than her fair share of awards and achievements: Nelson Mandela Prize for Poetry for her chapbook, “ Talking to Sometime” (1987), Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Book (Africa) for her novel “Changes”, served a fellowship at Stanford University, and is also a patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature. She now directs her own foundation, Mbaasem (Women’s Matters) since 2000.
Ms Aidoo however came from humble beginnings. Born on 23 March, 1940, she attended Wesley Girls’ High School and the University of Ghana, Legon in the 60s.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in English, Ms. Aidoo produced her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost, and then Anowa six years later. Ms. Aidoo served as Ghana’s first Minister of Education under Kwame Nkrumah in the early 70s. She, like many African writers, seemed to be a jack of all writing trades.
She’s written poetry, prose and drama, but her call to fame was her novel “Changes”, as Google tells me. I’m more than excited to start learning about her work. My literature teacher tells me that she mixed Fante proverbs and direct –translation dialogue in both of her plays. She also uncomfortably tells the class that some of her plays’ major themes include feminism, gender roles, impotent men, and Africa’s role in the slave trade.
So…like yeah….:) Let’s dive right in shall we?