LouisaHayford

What are the themes of your play?

The main theme of Ahemmaa is the strength and resilience of the women that have gone before us. Whilst we honour the ancestors, do we honour the Auntie at the bus stop? Do we know their story? Do we know what they’ve been through? And do we care?  Legacy, tradition, grief, social standards, independence, dreams and identity are also themes that run throughout the play.

Why did you write it and why now?

2022 will be the 65th year anniversary of Ghanaian independence from British rule. I wanted to identify and mark a monumental point in African history from the perspective of women before feminism was a huge talking point and culture was a stronger influence. I wanted to write about women’s lives that would be both majorly impacted by Ghana’s independence and their standing in society.

Which playwrights are you influenced by and in what way?

Kwame Kwei Armah was a big influence for me because he was the Black British playwright that drew my interest to the stage. I stumbled upon his play, Elmina’s Kitchen, when it was adapted for television by the BBC.  I was surprised to discover it was originally a play and it sparked my curiosity as to what other stories were being told on stage.  Since then, I’ve been spoilt by the talent of so many other playwrights.

What do you want to achieve as a playwright? 

I want to continue to create great art that entertains, inspires, motivates, educates and stands the test of time.  To do that is a beautiful thing.

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