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 You are in:    Front Page > Sitemap > Women Writers
life events

  • Ama Ata Aidoo was born in a small village in Ghana's central Fanti-speaking region in 1942.
  • Her father had opened the first school in the village and was a strong influence on her.
  • At the age of 15 she decided that she wanted to be a writer and within just four years, she'd achieved that ambition.
  • She was encouraged to enter a newspaper short story competition and only discovered that she'd won it when she saw her name in the newspaper.
"at the age of 15, a teacher had asked me what I wanted to do for a career, and without knowing why or even how I replied that I wanted to be a poet. About four years later I won a short story competition but learned about it only when I opened the newspaper that had organised it, and saw the story had been published on its centre pages and realised the name of the author of that story in print was mine. I believe these moments were crucial for me because ... I had articulated a dream... it was a major affirmation for me as a writer, to see my name in print."
Ama Ata Aidoo

  • Aidoo studied literature at the University of Ghana and became a university lecturer.
  • Whilst there she produced her first play in 1964.
  • In January 1982 she was appointed Minister of Education. As Minister, Aidoo wanted to make education in Ghana freely accessible to all - but after 18 months when she realised that she couldn't achieve her aims she resigned.
  • She moved to Zimbabwe to become a full-time writer and also lived and taught in the USA.
  • She has won many literary awards including the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Africa) for Changes.

life events
key influences and themes
Aidoo's work
the next chapter
being a woman writer
  Women Writers
  Meena Alexander
  Maya Angelou
  Shashi Deshpande
  Margaret Drabble
  Buchi Emecheta
  Jamaica Kincaid
  Doris Lessing
  Bharati Mukherjee
  Michele Roberts
  Helen Simpson

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