Anowa Questions and Answers
by Ama Ata Aidoo

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Why do we say that the issue of slavery is central to this play?

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When Anowa marries Kofi Ako, she helps him start a skin-trading business. She does a lot of work in the business. Traditionally, women weren't supposed to work outside the home in Ghana, but Anowa pays no attention to the tradition. Her husband, Kofi Ako, wants a more traditional wife, so he suggests they buy slaves for their business. Anowa is appalled at the thought of owning another person, even though the slave trade was common in Africa. Anowa respects other humans, so she refuses to use people as slaves. Owning slaves, along with the other traditions that Anowa refuses to follow, leads to the tragic end when Anowa and Kofi Ako commit double suicide.

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