One of Africa's finest and most-celebrated authors, poets and playwrights, Ghanaian Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, has died aged 81 on Wednesday, 31st May, 2023.
As a renowned feminist and someone who was passionate about African women and Africa in general, she depicted and celebrated the condition of African women in works such as 'The Dilemma of a Ghost,' 'Our Sister Killjoy' and 'Changes.'
As she has gone to join her ancestors, I have attempted to transcribe portions of a viral video that has come up after her demise.
In the viral video, she was seen having an encounter with a foreign journalist pouring her heart out about the negative effects the relationship between Africans and Europeans has had on Africans.
She recounts her frustrations to the interviewer saying, since Africans met Europeans "some 500 years ago, we've given everything for nothing and you're still taking. I mean, where would the whole Western world be without Africa? Our cocoa, our timber, our gold, our diamonds, our platinum, our whatever! Everything you're is us".
The playwright adds that all she talked about were not her views but the facts as they exist. She put to the interviewer; "in return what have Africans got for all of these?"
She said, "Nothing, but anti-personal indoctrination against ourselves? You go and cook your horrible diseases like AIDS, you say it is us? You brought us Tuberculosis, we didn't have this big cough until white people came here."
"In exchange for Africa giving Europe 500 solid years of our people." With this, she stresses that not only Europe but the entire Western World "of our human beings to whack your canes, to dig your gold, to taking gold itself, diamonds, I mean you know it yourself."
Prof. Aidoo in the interview adds that white people took "our fish, peanuts, palm oil, everything in exchange for that, we've got nothing. Nothing, and you look upon... You know white folks look upon us as monkeys! It's true. It's in your literature!"
"Some of your best thinkers have said about us. Have you ever heard of the... I mean all these Germans... They said... Lord Burton people like that, they said we don't even have the brain of animals. That's what we've got from you people," she angrily said.
It was at this time that the interviewer asked her "but don't you think that this is over now?" Ama Atta answered with a question "Over where? Is it over? Who said AIDS come from the green monkey? Is it over?"
The interviewer then returns with another question, "well, if this is your impression do you think you can ever forgive us?" The renowned author responded, "It's not a question of forgiveness. I've nothing against you. My point is that you did and you're still doing it for your survival which is necessary. We can't blame you for that?"
She concludes that "The fact that we didn't do enough for our own survival and we're still not doing enough for our survival, that is not your problem".
A word to the wise is enough.