Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

On this day in 1900, a Nigerian teacher, human rights activist, freedom fighter and Politician, Funmilayo Ransome-KutiMON otherwise known as Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti, was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, South-West Nigeria.

She was also a traditional aristocrat in Nigeria.

She served with distinction as one of the most prominent leaders of her generation.

She was also the first Nigerian woman to drive a car.

Fumilayo 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.

Kuti was the mother of the Nigerian activists Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a musician; Beko Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor; and Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, also a doctor and one-time Minister for Health in Nigeria.

She was also grandmother to musicians Seun Kuti and Femi Kuti.

She is highly regarded in Nigeria for notable acts as an African woman.

In old age her activism was overshadowed by that of her three sons, who provided effective opposition to various Nigerian military juntas.

In February of 1978 Ransome-Kuti was thrown from a third-floor window of her son Fela’s compound, a commune known as the Kalakuta Republic, when it was stormed by one thousand armed military personnel.

She lapsed into a coma and died in hospital on the13th of April 1978, as a result of her injuries.

She was 77 years old.

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