Our historical narrative will showcase a beautiful and powerful woman. Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti is her name. She is of Yoruba parentage and was married to an Anglican priest, Rev. Oladotun Ransome-Kuti.
Late chief Funmilayo was born in Abeokuta on the 25th of October 1900, in the present-day Ogun State of Nigeria. Among her children was the famous Afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti of blessed memory.
Her other children were Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti both of who distinguished themselves in the medical profession.
Chief Mrs Funmilayo was one of the first women to attend a secondary school in Nigeria dating back to 1914. She was also the first woman to drive a car in the streets of Nigeria. When she graduated from Abeokuta Grammar School in 1919, she proceeded to England where she enrolled in Wincham Hall Girls’ School, Cheshire.
Chief Funmilayo’s experiences of racial discrimination during her stay in England conditioned her to a life of political activism when she returned to Nigeria in 1922.
She even dropped her foreign name, Frances Abigail, and reverted to her native name, Funmilayo.
She founded the Abeokuta Ladies’ Club which later became an important women’s movement of the twentieth century in Nigeria. The club was committed to the defence of women’s political, social, and economic rights. She played a major role in that era of pre-independence constitutional conferences.
Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti will be remembered for being a foremost female educator, mother, and politician, who campaigned vigorously for the development of women.
Tell us if chief Mrs Fumilayo’s story inspires you.
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