Nana Ofosuaa Ayim gets “Woman of the Year in Cultural Arts” award

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
Nana Ofosuaa Ayim
Nana Ofosuaa Ayim

Ghanaian writer, filmmaker, and art historian, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, has been honoured as the “Woman of the Year” in Cultural Arts Award.

She received the award on Sunday night when a host of women leaders were honoured for making a significant impact on Ghanaian society.

Besides Nana Ofosuaa Ayim, other women awarded on the night included Abena Osei-Poku, the MD of Absa; Doreen Andoh of the Multimedia Group; Madam Shirley A. Botchway, the Foreign Affairs Minister; actress Akofa Edjeani and Becca, a musician.

The Woman of the Year award adds to a collection of awards won by Nana Ofosuaa Ayim in recent years. Nana is a woman who wears many hats—she is an accomplished writer, artist, art historian, filmmaker, public speaker.

Nana is the founder of the ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge, an initiative through which she has pioneered projects such as The Mobile Museum and The Pan-African Cultural Encyclopaedia; curating exhibitions such as Ghana's first pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019.

The award winners

She was named one of 12 African women making history in 2016 and one of 100 women of 2020 by Okayafrica.

As a writer, she has contributed to publications including Frieze, ArtNews, African Metropolitan Architecture and her first novel, The God Child, was published by Bloomsbury Publishing in 2019.

She published her first novel, The God Child with Bloomsbury in 2019, and with Penguin in German in 2021.

She has made award-winning films for museums such as Tate Modern, LACMA and The New Museum. She lectures a course on History and Theory at the Architectural Association in London.

She received in 2015, the Art & Technology Award from LACMA; the 2016 AIR Award, which “seeks to honour and celebrate extraordinary African artists who are committed to producing provocative, innovative and socially-engaging work”; a 2018 Soros Arts Fellowship, was a 2018 Global South Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, was appointed to the Advisory Council of Oxford University’s Cultural Programme in 2020, was a Principal Investigator on the Action for Restitution to Africa programme.

She is currently an unpaid Special Advisor to the Ghanaian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture on Museums and Cultural Heritage, overseeing plans to restructure the museums' sector.

Her main concern is how to make museums relevant to communities throughout the country, not just to a few, and to have them be a space in which Ghanaians can see themselves reflected and have their voices heard.