Ama Ata Aidoo—Rest in Peace

Ama Ata Aidoo

by Phyllis Chesler

I researched, chose, and invited many, many wonderful women to a conference in Oslo in 1980, one that I’d hoped would bring feminist leaders together from around the world. Ghanaian novelist and playwright Aidoo was one my invitees, as was Egypt’s Nawal El Sadawi, Zambia’s Gwendolyn Konie, and South Africa’s Motlalepula Chabaku, a feminist and church leader who led a Women’s March against apartheid in 1956. (I wonder if she knew Rhoda Kadalie, another South African hero whose important, recent biography: Rhoda: A Biography. “Comrade Kadalie, You are Out of Order!” (Kadalie was another feminist and anti-apartheid leader, appointed by Nelson Mandela to the Human Rights Commission—from which she resigned.) Chabaku was bold, brave, fearless, and stood with me against a predatory African man, a UN diplomat.

And now I’ve just read that Aidoo, a wordsmith, a poet, the author of a prize winning novel Changes: A Love Story, has died. God bless and keep you, Ama. It was a privilege to meet you.