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Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Tamale, Ghana

Yaba Badoe is a Ghanaian-British documentary filmmaker author and journalist.


Yaba Badoe was born in Tamale, Northern Ghana in 1955.

She is a graduate of King's College, Cambridge. She worked as a civil servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ghana before pursuing a career in journalism as a trainee at the BBC.

Yaba Badoe worked as a researcher at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. She taught in Spain and Jamaica, and produced and directed documentaries for television channels in Britain.

She is also a creative writer. In 2009, her first novel, True Murder was published by Jonathan Cape. Her short story "The Rivals" was included in the anthology African Love Stories (Ayebia, 2006), edited by Ama Ata Aidoo. She has also written three children's books. She also launched a book in 2014 called The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo.

Yaba Badoe directed and co-produced alongside Amina Mama, The Witches of Gambaga a documentary that won Best Documentary at the Black International Film Festival in 2010 and was awarded Second Prize in the Documentary section of FESPACO 2011.

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

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

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 art 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.


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)

The Secret of the Purple Lake (Cassava Republic Press, 2017), five interlinked stories

Wolf Light (Zephyr/Head of Zeus, 2019)

Lion Heart Girl (Zephyr/Head of Zeus, 2021)