Mabel Dove Danquah - The First Woman Elected In African Legislative Assembly
Mabel Ellen Dove Danquah was the daughter of Eva Buckman, a business woman from Osu and Francis Dove a lawyer from Sierra Leone, the first president of the Gold coast bar. She moved to Sierra Leone when she was 6. She later went to England and furthered her studies by completing a secretarial course, her father did not approve of.
Dove would continue to do what was not expected of a woman. Using her column Women's Corner by Marjorie Mensah in The Times West Africa (Ghana’s first newspaper 1931–34)"she dared women to break with form, to derive inspiration from the suffragists, to denounce imperialism, and to fight for their rights. She was one of the first African literary feminists, Francis Elsbend Kofigah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science of technology English professor has stated before Ama Ataa Aidoo and Efua Sunderland, Mabel Dove Danquah was flying the African female feminist writer flag.
- Danquah later wrote for the African Morning Post (1935–40), the Nigerian Daily Times (1936–37), the Accra Evening News (1950–1960s) and the Daily Graphic (1952). she took on the editorship of the Accra Evening News (CPP newspaper) in 1951 the paper of the she became the second woman ever to edit a newspaper in Ghana, after Akua Asabea Ayisi. However, she disagreed with Kwame Nkrumah over her editorial style and was dismissed from her post after five months. However, proving politics can be about principles not personalities. She remained loyal to the CPP and Nkrumah
JB Danquah pioneer of the big six, lawyer, politician, playwright and the Times West Africa owner fell in love with Mabel Dove and married her in September 1933, nevertheless the marriage did not last, and they divorced in the mid 1940’s.
Dove Danquah a writer of the Accra Evening news was part of Nkrumah’s plight to end British rule for Ghana to be independent. Dove Danquah was a major women’s recruiter and organiser for the CPP. She was a CPP candidate for Ga Rural constituency in 1951 and her win made her the first female member of the legislative assembly of the gold coast and the first woman to win an election and seat in Ghana.
Dove Danquah was also a brilliant creative writer “The Happenings of the Night (1931), The Adventures of the Black Girl in her Search for Mr Shaw (1934), Anticipation (1947), The Torn Veil (1947), Payment (1947), Invisible Scar (1966) and Evidence of Passion (1969)” are some of her short stories. Unfortunately Dove Danquah became blind and could not continue writing in 1972. Her work is included in these collections Langston Hughe's An African Treasury: Articles, Essays, Stories, Poems (1960), and Magaret Busby's Daughters of Africa (1992). Selected Writings of a Pioneer West African Feminist (edited by Stephanie Newell and Audrey Gadzekpo), was published in 2004, and it contains a selection of Dove Danquah’s work.
The Adventures of the Black Girl in her Search for Mr Shaw Dove Danquah’s satire of George Bernard Shaw’s, The Adventures of the Black girl in Her search for God (1932) was part of the British Library's 2015–16 exhibition West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song.
Mabel Dove Danquah passed away in 1984. Yet many Ghanaians do not celebrate her life long work to emancipate Ghanaian women, Africa and Ghana.