A literary giant has fallen— Akufo-Addo mourns Ama Ata Aidoo

A literary giant has fallen— Akufo-Addo mourns Ama Ata Aidoo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday eulogised the late Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, as an ex­ceptional writer whose kind will be difficult to find among the commu­nity of writers.

“The late Ama Ata Aidoo was not just a famous poet and a playwright, but also an exceptional woman whose literary works went beyond the boundaries of Ghana and Africa as a whole,” he stated.

At a well-attended funeral held in her honour at the forecourt of the State House in Accra yesterday, President Akufo-Addo also de­scribed her as a literary giant whose works were flawless and exceptional.

Also paying their last respects to the Ghanaian literary icon were former President John Dramani Ma­hama, his running mate in the 2020 general elections, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman; the Chief-of-Staff Akosua Frema Osei Opare; the African Union High Represen­tative for Silencing the Guns, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas; Deputy Minister of Education, Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, the Chief-of- Defence-Staff, Air Vice Admiral Seth Amoama and members of the diplomatic corps.

Also present were traditional rulers, family members, former col­league lecturers, friends, sympathis­ers and well-wishers from Ghana and across the world.

The President said even though it was said that in West Africa, every time an elder died a library burns with him or her, same could not be said of Ama Ata Aidoo.

“Exceptional woman, knowl­edgeable teacher, famous poet, public servant, flawless storyteller, outstanding writer, she possessed an excellent mastery of the English language,” he extolled.

Nana Akufo-Addo recounted her outstanding role in the development of education in the country and re­called the impact made by her books and writings.

“The community of writers has lost one of its greatest members, one who will be extremely difficult to replace,” he emphasised.

President Akufo-Addo noted that he had a friendly and produc­tive relationship with the late poet and playwright and were colleagues at the University of Ghana in the 1960s even though she was four years older than him.

Touching the political life of Ama Ata Aidoo, President Akufo-Addo said she served as Ghana’s Educa­tion Minster under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) in 1982.

The President noted that she was an advocate for women and fought against all challenges and trials faced by women, stressing that “As a tireless advocate for women, she believed that women are the first hand educators of our children, our communities, our nation, our region and our continent and that we em­power our children by empowering our women.”

“She fought against the multi­tude of hurdles, cultural, econom­ic, religious and social that faced women and urged leaders across the continent and the world to take appropriate actions to implement fully and efficiently, commitments needed to improve the welfare of women and girls on the continent,” the President said.

A tribute by her daughter, Kinna Nana Adjoa Kwesiwa Likimani, said her mother was a master of all the literary forms- the short story, the play and the novel.

She said these were a testimony to her brilliance but quiet literarily it meant deliverance came sooner rather than later.

Madam Likimani noted that an attribute of her mother was that she never suffered the writer’s block, rather her challenge as often articu­lated was the space to write.

“Space here is cover for physical space, financial space, space from the public, space from family and space even from me, mental and emotional space,” she emphasised.

She said her mother believed that African female writers must have physical space to write.

Likimani noted that she had the best childhood growing up on the University of Cape Coast campus where her mother lectured.

The late Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo will be laid in state at her home town, Abeadze Kyiakor in the Central Re­gion on Saturday, July 15, followed by burial and a thanksgiving church service on Sunday, July 16, 2023.


Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: [email protected]

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