YORUBA LEADERS

  • FUNMILAYO RANSOME-KUTI

    OUR HEROES

    Francis Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas was born on 25 October 1900, in Abeokuta, to Chief Daniel Olumeyuwa Thomas and Lucretia Phyllis Omoyeni Adeosolu of the Jibolu-Taiwo family. Her father was a son of a returned slave from Sierra Leone who traced his ancestral history back to Abeokuta in what is today Ogun State, Nigeria. He became a member of the Anglican faith, and soon returned to the homeland of his fellow Egbas. She attended Abeokuta Grammar School for secondary education, and later went to England for further studies. She soon returned to Nigeria and became a teacher. On 20 January 1925, she married the Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti. Ransome-Kuti received the national honour of membership in the Order of the Niger in 1965. The University of Ibadan bestowed upon her the honorary Doctor of Laws in 1968. She also held a seat in the Western House of Chiefs of Nigeria as an Oloye of the Yoruba people. Throughout her career, she was known as an educator and activist. Ransome-Kuti founded an organization for women in Abeokuta, with a membership tally of more than 20,000 individuals, spanning both literate and illiterate women. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti campaigned for women's votes. She was for many years a member of the ruling National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) party. She was the treasurer and subsequent president of the Western NCNC Women's Association. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, otherwise known as Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti, was a teacher, political campaigner, women's rights activist and traditional aristocrat in Nigeria. She served with distinction as one of the most prominent leaders of her generation. She was also the first woman in the country to drive a car. Ransome-Kuti's political activism led to her being described as the doyen of female rights in Nigeria, as well as to her being regarded as "The Mother of Africa." Early on, she was a very powerful force advocating for the Nigerian woman's right to vote. She was described in 1947, by the West African Pilot, as the "Lioness of Lisabi" for her leadership of the women of the Egba people on a campaign against their arbitrary taxation. That struggle led to the abdication of the high king Oba Ademola II in 1949. In old age her activism was overshadowed by that of her three sons, who provided effective opposition to various Nigerian military juntas. In 1978 Ransome-Kuti was thrown from a third-floor window of her son Fela's compound, when it was stormed by one thousand armed military personnel. She lapsed into a coma in February of that year, and died on 13 April 1978, because of her injuries.

    1. OBAFEMI JEREMIAH AWOLOWO
    2. MACAULAY HERBERT
    3. SAMUEL AJAYI CROWTHER
    4. LADOKE AKINTOLA
    5. FUNMILAYO RANSOME-KUTI
    6. FRANCIS ADEKUNLE FAJUYI

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  • OUR HISTORY

    HISTORY OF THE YORUBA PEOPLE

    Yoruba history by TYLPI writer

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