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The hidden achievement of Fela’s mother, Ransome-Kuti

Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

It’s weird how a whole chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was more famously taught in Nigeria school as the first woman to drive a car

When infact she did enough not to be remembered for driving a car

Achievements

1. In 1932, Ransome-Kuti had helped establish the Abeokuta Ladies Club

2. The Abeokuta Women’s Revolt in 1940’s

3. In 1947, the sole woman in the delegatio in the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons party (NCNC) sent a delegation to London, England, to protest a proposed Nigerian constitution.

4. In May 1949, she proposed the creation of the Nigerian Women’s Union (NWU) in order to better support women’s rights and enfranchisement across the country.

5. She was a founding member of the NCNC party, in 1951 she ran as their for the regional assembly but was unsuccessful

6. In 1953, she organised a conference in Abeokuta to discuss women’s suffrage and political representation, and 400 women delegates attended the two-day event.

7. The participants subsequently formed the Federation of Nigerian Women’s Societies (FNWS) which campaigned for women’s political inclusion, improved educational opportunities, and the creation of new social services and healthcare.

8. During the early 1950s, Ransome-Kuti was appointed to the Western House of Chiefs and granted the chieftaincy title of Oloye of the Yoruba people. She was the first woman appointed to the Western House

9. On a visit to China in 1956, Ransome-Kuti gave public lectures on Nigerian women and culture.

10. In 1958, she was invited to attend a women’s rights conference in the United States, she was denied an American visa because authorities felt “she had too many Communist connections”. It was not until Nigeria became independent that Ransome-Kuti’s passport was renewed.

11. In 1959, when was denied a second chance to run as an NCNC candidate, she ran as an independent candidate instead, but her campaign split the vote and helped an opponent of the NCNC win the seat.

Ransome-Kuti

12. Afterwards, the party revoked her membership. She went on to found a political party, the Commoners’ People’s Party, dissolving after only a year. Around this time, her political rivals created the National Council of Women’s Societies in an attempt to replace the FNWS.

13. She was actively involved with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), being president for the organisation’s Nigerian branch since 1963.

14. In 1965, Ransome-Kuti received the national honour of membership in the Order of the Niger. The University of Ibadan bestowed an honorary doctorate of laws upon her in 1968 and she received the Lenin Peace Prize in 1970.

15. In 1969, Ransome-Kuti was appointed chairman of the Advisory Board of Education by the western Nigeria state government, and she served as a consultant to the Federal Ministry of Education on recruitment of teachers from other countries.

Death

Ransome-Kuti Family

On 18th of February, Ransome-Kuti visited her son at his compound as she often did, and she was there when close to 1,000 armed soldiers surrounded and stormed the property. As soon as the soldiers broke inside they began destroying property and assaulting the residents.

Fela and Bekolari were beaten and severely injured.

Fella Kuti

Chief Ransome-Kuti was thrown from a second-floor window.

Following the attack, she was hospitalised and eventually lapsed into a coma. She died on 13 April 1978 as a result of her injuries.

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