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The goddess that once walked among us; eulogy to the great Ama Ata Aidoo

By primenewsghana
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Once upon a time, there was a wordsmith of remarkable prowess in the heart of Africa, where the ancient Baobab whispered tales of yore.

She was the black star’s griot, drawing bright tapestries of life with the ink of her soul, her lyrics echoing old wisdom’s melodies. A daring and powerful emblem of audacity, a scribe of society, she was the mighty Ama Ata Aidoo, an invincible force that breathed life into the pages of our shared identity.

Her stories came to life like the mighty Volta, pulsing with the collective life of her people and illuminating the shades of our shared joy and collective sorrow. She was the architect of fantasies, the weaver of dreams, and a link across eras, weaving the past, present, and future into the beautiful fabric of her compelling stories. She left, and like the sun setting on that fateful May 31, 2023, has left a huge darkness in its wake over the continent of Africa. Nonetheless, her absence ushers in a new era, one bolstered by her legacy, inspired by her words, and fortified by her unwavering dedication. Our lioness may have transitioned out of this earth, but her roar will continue to echo through the ages, through the verses she wrote, the consciousness she raised, and the change she encouraged. Her spirit, like her stories, lives on, unbreakable, indelible, and timeless.

Like Yaa Asantewaa before her, Ama Ata Aidoo stood as an embodiment of strength, defiance, and wisdom. Both were lionesses of their day, their roars resonating through the jungles of cultural standards, challenging the status quo and inspiring generations. If Asantewaa used weapons in physical battles, Aidoo used the power of her pen to strike at the heart of complacency and injustice, sparking a consciousness revolution. Ama Ata Aidoo’s words will forever pulse in the heartbeat of Ghanaian literature, continuing to inspire, awaken, and empower, just as Asantewaa’s courage courses through the veins of our history. Their legacies serve as twin lighthouses, illuminating the path of future generations and reminding us of Ghanaian women’s unbreakable courage and spirit.

Ama Ata Aidoo, like the famous Sankofa bird of our rich history, drew from the wellsprings of our past and her own present to weave narratives that would later shape our future. She began her storytelling adventure with ‘The Dilemma of a Ghost,’ reflecting the issues of our diaspora, of our identity in an increasingly interconnected world. Her trailblazing power reminiscent of Yaa Asantewaa’s fiery courage, shone brilliantly, heralding her arrival as the first published African woman dramatist.

She then poured her creative essence into ‘Anowa’ and ‘No Sweetness Here,’ her works growing like the ever-changing Adinkra symbols, each imbued with profound knowledge, everlasting truths, and our people’s shared stories. Her literary tapestry served as a mirror, a prism, and a window, reflecting our challenges, refracting our dreams, and offering us new possibilities.


As the unbreakable Akan gold weight, Ama Ata Aidoo carried the heavy burden of our shared hopes, smiles, tears and anxieties and channelled them into her writings in the way that raw minerals are channelled into beautiful ornaments. Her pearls and jewels, in the form of her works, have since rippled across classrooms, touched young people’s emotions, and sparked the spirit of a generation. Her sharp insights on our society, embodied in her novel ‘Our Sister Killjoy,’ as well as the poetic anthems ‘Someone Talking to Sometime’ and ‘Birds and Other Poems,’ continue to stimulate interactions and catalyze change, leaving an enduring stamp on our cultural landscape.

Her influence extended beyond the literary world, penetrating the music scene and influencing Afrobeats phenomenon Burna Boy and Ghanaian rapper M.anifest. Her powerful denunciation of colonialism and exploitation resounded in their songs, demonstrating the great effect of her words.

Ama Ata Aidoo, the unrivalled paragon of passion, blazed a trail rarely trodden. She was a pathfinder who broke glass ceilings, not only leaving her mark but also forging a niche in literary history, a niche that continues to resound with the power of her determination and the vibrancy of her intellect.

As a goddess, she transcended the ordinary, refining everyday stories into magical dashes of realism, every adversity into a triumphant journey, and every failure into a story of courage. She lived as a literary warrior, armed with her pen, protecting us with her knowledge, and guiding us with her unflinching vision. Her energy continues to guide us, her words nourish us, and her legacy inspires us to rise, fight, and accomplish our common destiny. The sun may have set on her physical presence, but the dawn of her eternal legacy has arrived, illuminating our path into the future.

Ama Ata Aidoo’s physical presence may no longer be with us, but her soul, entrenched in her words and inscribed in our hearts, lives on. Her blessings shall continue to brighten our lives, drive our efforts, and direct our goals. As we travel through life, we bear her legacy with us, a legacy that will keep inspiring change, challenge norms, and drive future generations. She was a goddess, she was our light, and she was and always will be the Great Ama Ata Aidoo.


Source: Andy Martei  


The author, Andy Martei, is a creative writer and copy editor with an interest in African literature, creative arts and the link between various forms of art.