Blending traditional tales with Western references, Sutherland’s best known works include the plays Edufa (1967), based on a play by Euripides, Foriwa (1962), which examined change and development, and The Marriage of Anansewa (1975), a comedy. She was also celebrated for her plays for children, including Vulture! Vulture! and Tahinta.
But Sutherland was not just a writer. She also played a valuable role in promoting the cultural life of the newly-independent state after 1957. As well as founding a writing association and literary magazine, she established the Ghana Experimental Theatre, which later became the Drama Studio, a space where Ghanaian playwrights could learn their craft. A teacher who helped to develop Ghana’s curriculum, she held academic and government positions throughout her life, and is remembered for her work on the U.N. Convention on the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in particular. Students in Ghana, and throughout Africa, owe their cultural education to this inspirational writer.