5 facts you should know about ‘The Dilemma of a Ghost’ author and Former Minister of Education, Ama Ata Aidoo


Ama Ata Aidoo‘s remarkable career and contributions have made her an influential figure in African literature.

Her trailblazing work as a playwright, her dedication to education, and her support for African women writers have left an enduring legacy.

As we remember her upon her passing, we honour her immense contributions and celebrate her profound impact on literature and culture.

Pioneering African Woman Playwright

Ama Ata Aidoo made history as the first published African woman playwright with her play, “The Dilemma of a Ghost,” written in 1964 during her time at the University of Ghana. The play was published by Longman in 1965, marking a significant milestone in African literature.

Distinguished Academic Career

Aidoo’s passion for education and literature led her to pursue an academic career. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Ghana, she taught English at the same institution and later became a professor at the University of Cape Coast. Aidoo’s expertise and contributions to academia further solidified her legacy.

Minister of Education

In 1982, Aidoo was appointed as the Minister of Education in Ghana under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government. However, she resigned after 18 months due to the realization that her goal of providing free education for all in Ghana would not be achievable. Aidoo’s commitment to education and her willingness to stand for her principles left a lasting impact.

Accomplished Author

Ama Ata Aidoo’s literary achievements are remarkable. Alongside her renowned play “The Dilemma of a Ghost,” she wrote other notable works such as “Anowa,” which was performed at the Gate Theatre in London in 1991. Aidoo’s debut novel, “Our Sister Killjoy,” published in 1977, remains a popular and influential piece of her literary repertoire. Additionally, her novel “Changes” garnered the prestigious Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Africa) in 1992.

Promoter of African Literature and Women’s Artistic Expression

Aidoo actively supported and contributed to the development of African literature and the empowerment of women writers. She founded the Mbaasem Foundation in 2000, an organization focused on supporting African women writers and their artistic output. As the editor of the anthology “African Love Stories” in 2006, Aidoo showcased the diverse voices and narratives of African authors. Her involvement as a patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature further demonstrated her commitment to fostering African literary talent.


By Boafo Regina Yaa Kyerewah|3news.com|Ghana



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