Suicide in an Akan Language Novel

A focus on L. D. Apraku’s Aku Sika


  • Mensah Adinkrah Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, United States


Akan fiction, Akan language, Akan literature, attempted suicide, Ghana, parasuicide, suicide, suicidology


Suicide in fiction can promote insights into perceptions of, and attitudes about suicide ideation and behavior in a society. This article uses the novel Aku Sika as a case in point. Aku Sika is a novel set in Ghana in the 1950s. A young married woman attempts to end her life to avoid imminent disgrace. The king’s youngest wife, Aku, plots to commit suicide in response to rivalry and evil machinations of the king’s senior-most wife, S?kyeraa. Aku suffers from a hand deformity caused by a childhood accident and had been successfully hiding the deformity from public view. Due to her extraordinary beauty, the king selects her as a wife unbeknownst to him that she had a physical handicap, this in a society with a cultural prohibition barring kings from marrying physically handicapped brides. S?kyeraa swears under oath that she should be executed if it cannot be proven that Aku was not physically handicapped, A date was set for Aku to reveal her hand to the public. She decided to self-destruct rather than face public ignominy. On the banks of a major river where she planned to die by suicide, the river spirit appeared and healed her deformed hand.


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How to Cite

Adinkrah, M. (2023). Suicide in an Akan Language Novel: A focus on L. D. Apraku’s Aku Sika. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Culture, 9(5), 191–197.



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