As the title character, Anowa is the center of the play. She is a young Ghanaian woman who is regarded as unusual and wild by others in her village, including her parents. Before meeting Kofi Ako in phase one, Anowa has refused to marry anyone who asked her. Her parents, especially her mother Badua, worry about her and her future. Her desire to marry Kofi Ako, whom her mother regards as less-than-perfect husband material, is another unexpected twist in her life. Osam, and others in the play, believe that Anowa would have been better off being a priestess.
After marrying Kofi Ako, Anowa is happy to help him in his work and build their business. Their only problem is their lack of children, which Anowa blames on herself in the form of some unknown shortcoming. While Kofi Ako appreciates Anowa's work to some degree, he would like it better if she would act more like a traditional wife. Anowa has no desire to live a life of leisure. Over her protests, Kofi Ako buys slaves which builds their business further. As Kofi Ako's wealth grows, Anowa becomes more alienated from him. By the end of the play, Anowa is still barren and Kofi Ako wants her to leave. Anowa has a revelation that Kofi Ako is less than a man, and his impotency has made them childless. Like her husband, Anowa kills herself by the end of the play. Her free-spirited ways were never appreciated by anyone in Anowa.
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Kofi Ako is Anowa's husband. Anowa's mother believes he is a fool and comes from a bad family, while Osam is content that his daughter is finally getting married. Anowa wants to help him make something of himself. Together, the couple builds a business trading skins. At first, Kofi Ako seems willing to accept his wife's help, though he wishes that she were more like other wives. To make this possible and improve their lives, Kofi Ako decides to buy slaves to help in the business. Anowa is vehemently opposed to owning slaves, but Kofi Ako rationalizes that because everyone else does it, it must be okay. Kofi Ako's strategy pays off in some ways. They do become very rich with a big house in Oguaa, but their marriage becomes strained. Anowa wants to work and is lost when forced to do nothing. The couple drifts apart while living under the same roof. A bigger issue between them is their lack of children, which Anowa initially blames on herself. When Kofi Ako asks her to leave without giving a reason in phase three, Anowa comes to question Kofi Ako's manhood. When she accuses him of being like a woman and implying that he is impotent in front of several slaves, Kofi Ako kills himself. Kofi Ako never really understood his wife, only what society expected a wife to be.
Badua is the mother of Anowa and wife of Osam. She is bewildered by her only surviving child and her attitudes. Like Kofi Ako, Badua wants Anowa to be normal. For Badua, this means to have married at an appropriate age. She rejects Osam's suggestion that Anowa would have been better off training to be a priestess. Such a woman would not have been a person. Badua is appalled when Anowa announces that she will marry Kofi Ako. This is the worst man...
(The entire section is 719 words.)