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One of Africa’s Most-celebrated Authors and Playwrights has Died Aged 81

A renowned feminist, Ghanaian Ama Ata Aidoo depicted and celebrated the condition of African women in works such as The Dilemma of a Ghost, Our Sister Killjoy and Changes. She opposed what she described as a “Western perception that the African female is a downtrodden wretch”. She also served as education minister in the early 1980s but resigned when she could not make education free. A university professor, Ata Aidoo won many literary awards for her novels, plays and poems, including the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Changes, a love story about a statistician who divorces her first husband and enters into a polygamous marriage. Her work, including plays like Anowa, have been read in schools across West Africa, along with works of other greats like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. She was a major influence on the younger generation of writers, including Nigeria’s awarding-winning Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.