‘No Sweetness Here’ as Ghana’s Ama Atta Aidoo, literary giant and feminist Icon dies at 81

Tributes & Condolences Late Ama Atta Aidoo, prolific Ghanaian writer and feminist
JUN 1, 2023 LISTEN
Late Ama Atta Aidoo, prolific Ghanaian writer and feminist

Ghana has lost one of its most cherished literary brains as Professor Ama Atta Aidoo, one of Africa's most prominent authors and feminists, passed away at age 81.

The news of the “No Sweetness Here” author was confirmed in a statement from her family, which expressed both deep sorrow and hope for the resurrection.

“The family … with deep sorrow but in the hope of the resurrection, informs the general public that our beloved relative and writer passed away in the early hours of this morning Wednesday 31st May 2023, after a short illness,” a statement signed by Kwamena Essandoh Aidoo, a representative of the family.


Born Christina Ama Atta Aidoo on March 23, 1942 in the Gold Coast, now Ghana, her remarkable career spanned over five decades and left an indelible mark on African literature, feminist thought, and the world.

Her works, which include novels, plays, and essays, have been celebrated for their insightful exploration of women's experiences and the complex legacies of colonialism.

Among Madam Aidoo's most notable works are her debut novel, "The Dilemma of a Ghost" (1965), the powerful play "Anowa" (1970), "Our Sister Killjoy" (1977), and "Changes" (1991) – the latter earning her the prestigious Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1992.

Her writing has undoubtedly touched the hearts and minds of countless readers and has been translated into several languages, reflecting her global influence.

Madam Aidoo's impact extends beyond her literary achievements as she once served as the country’s education minister from 1982 to 1983.

As a staunch advocate for women's rights, she used her unique voice to challenge societal norms and expectations, empowering women to claim their agency and independence.

Her writing has long been celebrated for its fearless portrayal of women's experiences, often tackling taboo subjects and demanding recognition of women's autonomy.

She was also a dedicated educator, having taught at various institutions, including the University of Cape Coast, the University of Ghana, and Brown University in the United States.

She was also a visiting professor at prestigious universities such as Harvard and Princeton.

Through her teaching, she inspired a new generation of writers, thinkers, and activists, further cementing her legacy.

Madam Aidoo's passing is a huge loss to the literary world and the global community of feminists.

However, her memories will continue to remain fresh through her enduring works and the countless lives she touched.

As she once famously wrote, "Time by itself means nothing, no matter how fast it moves, unless we give it something to carry for us; something we value. Because it is such a precious vehicle, is time."

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished