The Trailblazing Writer Who Put Women Center Stage
Ghanaian author Ama Ata Aidoo’s explorations of strong women have influenced a generation of African female writers. Through her academic teaching and her Mbaasem nonprofit, this shero is actively helping their voices to be heard.
This influential author and teacher has inspired and supported African woman writers
Born in Ghana in 1942, Ama Ata Aidoo set her heart on being a writer at the age of 15. She went on to write hugely influential plays, novels and poetry that explored the role of women, and the impact of Western influences on women in Africa. While she wrote in English, she drew on the African oral tradition.
Aidoo’s best-known works include the plays The Dilemma of a Ghost (1965) and Anowa (1970), and the short story collection No Sweetness Here (1970). She won many literary prizes, including the 1992 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book (Africa) for her novel Changes — the story of a woman who leaves her husband in search of her own personal space.
A university lecturer who taught at Cape Coast in Ghana for over ten years, Aidoo was also a visiting professor in Kenya and the United States. She was appointed as Ghana’s Minister of Education in 1982 but lasted only 18 months, resigning in disappointment when she saw that she would not be able to make education freely accessible to everyone. More recently, she founded the Mbaasem Foundation in 2000 to support and promote the work of African woman writers.
A joyful tribute to a creative spirit
Throughout her career, Aidoo explored the role of women, and the clash between tradition and a woman’s expectations. So we wanted to create easy-care, wear-anywear pieces with freedom of movement to help women live their lives to the full. The Ama Ata Aidoo Wrap Top is a pure cotton Wax Print top that you can wear your way. Pairing just as easily with denim as with the matching skirt, it can be worn on or off the shoulder. The Ama Ata Aidoo Button-Through Skirt has a flared silhouette, and comes with a detail every modern woman will appreciate: pockets.