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Ama Ata Aidoo

  • But those days are over / When it was expedient for two deer / To walk together, / Since anyone can see and remove / The beam in his eye with a mirror.

  • From all around the Third World, / You hear the same story: / Rulers / Asleep to all things at / All times - / Conscious only of / Riches, which they gather in a / Coma - / Intravenously.

  • 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.

  • She listens to her own tales, / Laughs at her own jokes and / Follows her own advice.

    • Ama Ata Aidoo,
    • Anowa
    • ()
  • ... the best way to sharpen a knife is not to whet one side of it only. And neither can you solve a riddle by considering only one end of it.

    • Ama Ata Aidoo,
    • Anowa
    • ()
  • ... money-making is like a god possessing a priest. He never will leave you, until he has occupied you, wholly changed the order of your being, and seared you through and up and down. Then only would he eventually leave you, but nothing of you except an exhausted wreck, lying prone and wondering who are you.

    • Ama Ata Aidoo,
    • Anowa
    • ()
  • People are worms, and even the God who created them is immensely bored with their antics.

  • It's a sad moment, really, when parents first become a bit frightened of their children.

  • Eternal death has worked like a warrior rat, with diabolical sense of duty, to gnaw my bottom. Everything is finished now.

  • The very old certainly do not go back on lunch remains but they do bite back at old conversational topics ...

  • ... our people say a bad marriage kills the soul. Mine is fit for burial.

  • Once in a while I catch myself wondering whether I would have found the courage to write if I had not started to write when I was too young to know what was good for me.

    • Ama Ata Aidoo,
    • "To Be a Woman," in Robin Morgan, ed., Sisterhood Is Global ()
  • I feel the revolutionalizing of our continent hinges on the woman questions.

    • Ama Ata Aidoo,
    • in Adeola James, ed., In Their Own Voices ()
  • Love is fine for singing about and love songs are good to listen to, sometimes even to dance to. But when we need food for our stomachs and clothes for our backs, love is nothing. Ah my lady, the last man any woman should think of marrying is the man she loves.

  • It is beginning to look as if the nicest husband is always the one someone else is living with, no?

  • There are powerful forces undermining progress in Africa. But one must never underestimate the power of the people to bring about change.

  • ... they let her know that she was unwelcome, and a burden they did not know what to do with. Having to deal with a man who is over-qualified for a job is bad enough. To have to cope with an over-qualified woman in any situation is a complete misfortune.

  • No matter what anybody says, we can't have it all. Not if you are a woman. Not yet.

Ama Ata Aidoo, Ghanaian poet, playwright, writer, academic


Born Christina Ama Aidoo.