An author from the Ivory Coast
writing in French
[Return to French Page originale en français]
Akissi Kouadio is a pseudonym.
Born in the early 1940's in a village in the Bouaké region (Ivory Coast), Akissi Kouadio's autobiography starts in the following manner: "I spent part of my childhood in a small Baoulé village in the Ivory Coast. I lived there with my father, my little brother, my mother, my mother's rival (my father's first wife), my paternal grandmother and her Tagwana slave. I can scarcely recollect when, or how, I discovered that my father was not my mother's real husband. Before meeting my father, my mother was married to a serviceman in a registry office. After her husband's departure for France to do his military service and her parents-in-laws' neglectful behaviour, my mother, who was very young at the time, did not want to stay on her own. She met my father, and my little brother and I were the result of that union. All went well until we learnt that my mother's husband, who had become a customs officer in Haute-Volta, had returned to the Ivory Coast and wanted his wife back [...]. Finally, my mother was forced to return to her husband. My father said to her: "Leave the children and go". My mother went back to her village where she was given back to her husband. I shall never forget that day, everyone cried as if she had died."
Not long afterwards, Akissi and her brother, whose step-father's family took them away by force, were reunited with their mother and followed her to Burkina Faso. In 1961 the Akissi family returned to the Ivory Coast and the young woman obtained a typing diploma. In 1963 she became Secretary of the Jeunesses Ouvrières Catholiques (Young Catholic Workers) and in 1965 took part in, among others, the Third World Council of JOC held in Bangkok. In 1968 she left JOC and took a job as a library clerk, where she still works today. She was on the point of marrying someone from a different ethnic group when she was abandoned by her fiancé because the young man's mother opposed the marriage. Akissi Kouadio has one son born in 1976.
Un impossible amour: Une Ivoirienne raconte [An Impossible Love: An Woman from the Ivory Coast tells her story] . Abidjan: INADES, 1983. (103p.). Autobiography.
An autobiography which shows how difficult it is for some African women to reconcile the heavy responsibilities of tradition and their desire to be considered the equal of their partners.
The University of Western Australia/French
Created: 25 December 1995
Modified: 14 September 1996
Archived: 19 December 2012