Yaba Badoe

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Yaba Badoe
Yaba Badoe at ZIFF 2015.jpg
OccupationDocumentary filmmaker, journalist and author

Yaba Badoe (born 1955) is a Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker, journalist and author.[1]


Yaba Badoe was born in Tamale, northern Ghana.[2] She left Ghana to be educated in Britain at a very young age.[3] A graduate of King's College, Cambridge, Badoe worked as a civil servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ghana,[3] before beginning her career in journalism as a trainee at the BBC.[4] She also was a researcher at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. She has taught in Spain and Jamaica and has worked as a producer and director making documentaries for the main television channels in Britain.[5] Among her credits are: Black and White (1987), an investigation into race and racism in Bristol, using hidden video cameras for BBC1; I Want Your Sex (1991), an arts documentary exploring images and myths surrounding black sexuality in Western art, literature, film and photography, for Channel 4; and the six-part series Voluntary Service Overseas for ITV in 2002.[5]

In addition to making films, Badoe is a creative writer, her first novel, True Murder, being published in London by Jonathan Cape in 2009.[6] Her short story "The Rivals" was included in the anthology African Love Stories (Ayebia, 2006), edited by Ama Ata Aidoo.[7] She has also written three children's books.[8]

Badoe directed and co-produced (with Amina Mama) the documentary film The Witches of Gambaga, which won Best Documentary at the Black International Film Festival in 2010, and was awarded Second Prize in the Documentary section of FESPACO 2011.[9] Her most recent film, launched in 2014, is entitled The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo.[10][11]

In 2016, she participated in "Telling Our Stories of Home: Exploring and Celebrating Changing African and Africa-Diaspora Communities" in Chapel Hill, NC.[12]

She is a contributor to the 2019 anthology New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby.[13]


  • A Time of Hope (1983)
  • Crowning Glory (1986)
  • Black and White (1987)
  • I Want Your Sex (1991)
  • Supercrips and Rejects (1996)
  • Race in the Frame (1996)
  • A Commitment to Care – The Capable State (1997)
  • Am I My Brother’s Keeper? (2002)
  • Voluntary Service Overseas (2002)
  • One to One (2003)
  • Secret World of Voodoo: Africa – Coming Home (2006)
  • Honorable Women (2010)
  • The Witches of Gambaga (2010)
  • The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo (2014)


  • True Murder (Jonathan Cape, 2009)
  • A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars (Zephyr/Head of Zeus, 2017)[14]
  • The Secret of the Purple Lake (Cassava Republic Press, 2017), five interlinked stories[15]
  • Wolf Light (Zephyr/Head of Zeus, 2019)[16]
  • Lion Heart Girl (Zephyr/Head of Zeus, 2021)[17]


  1. ^ "An Interview with Ghanaian – British Writer, Yaba Badoe". Geosi Reads. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Film: The Witches Of Gambaga | Transcript", Journeyman TV.
  3. ^ a b Beti Ellerson, "A Conversation with Yaba Badoe", African Women in Cinema, 1 September 2011.
  4. ^ Nana Fredua-Agyeman, "46. True Murder by Yaba Badoe - About the author", ImageNations Promoting African Literature, 18 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b "About the Director - Yaba Badoe", African Film Festival.
  6. ^ Joanna Hines, True Murder review, The Guardian, 8 August 2009.
  7. ^ "Yaba Badoe’s African Love Story, 'The Rival'", Buried in Print, 16 November 2011.
  8. ^ Nicolette Jones, "Children’s book of the week: A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe", The Sunday Times, 11 March 2018.
  9. ^ "The Witches of Gambaga - A film by Yaba Badoe", official website.
  10. ^ Shakira Chambas and Sionne Neely, "The Art of AMA ATA AIDOO: Documentary Film Launch", African Women’s Development Fund, 26 September 2014.
  11. ^ "The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo - a film by Yaba Badoe", official website.
  12. ^ "Schedule of Events | Telling Our Stories of Home". tellingourstories.web.unc.edu. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  13. ^ Olatoun Gabi-Williams, "After seminal anthology, Busby celebrates New Daughters of Africa", Guardian Arts, The Guardian (Nigeria), 21 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Introducing Yaba Badoe and her debut novel A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars" (YouTube video), 19 April 2017.
  15. ^ Elly Roberts, "Q&A: Writer and Filmmaker Yaba Badoe", Africa In Words, 6 October 2017.
  16. ^ [1] Publisher website
  17. ^ [2] Publisher website

External links[edit]