31.10.19

Late Nigerian Activist And Politician Funmilayo Ransom-Kuti’s 119th Honoured by Google Doodle.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti’s 119th Birthday 
Google paid homage to Nigerian activist, politician and teacher Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti on what would have been her 119th birthday on Friday.
Known as “The Lioness of Lisabi” and “The Mother of Africa,” Ransome-Kuti was honoured with a special doodle, illustrated by Nigerian-Italian artist Diana Ejaita.“I felt a sense of responsibility and knew I needed to create an image that would make the observer want to learn more about her legacy,” Ejaita told Google.“Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was an inspiration to me. It’s rare to read about someone who has achieved so much in a lifetime,” Ejaita said. Honours for Ransome-Kuti are well-deserved; as the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car, not only did she shatter barriers for women, but she also birthed the iconic Afrobeats pioneer Fela Kuti. “As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned,” said Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the Nigerian educator and activist who fearlessly campaigned for women’s rights and the liberation of Africa from colonial rule. A formidable leader who founded what many refer to as one of the most important social movements of the twentieth century.​Born on this day in 1900 in Abeokuta, the current capital of Nigeria’s Ogun state, the former Frances Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas grew up witnessing Great Britain consolidating control over Nigeria.
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As the grandchild of a slave, she became one of the first girls to enrol in Abeokuta Grammar School, before travelling to Cheshire in England to continue her education. By the time she returned home, she’d dropped her birth names and preferred to speak Yoruba. In 1932, Ransome-Kuti established the Abeokuta Ladies Club (ALC), fostering unity between educated women and poor market workers and setting up the first adult education programs for Nigerian women. Renamed the Abeokuta Women’s Union in 1946, the organization boasted a membership of some 20,000 and pushed for healthcare, social services, and economic opportunity. Imprisoned in 1947 for protesting against unfair treatment towards women, Ransome-Kuti and her followers also led the charge to abdicate a corrupt local leader. A trailblazer in many ways, Ransome-Kuti was also the first Nigerian woman to drive a car. She was also the only woman in Nigeria’s 1947 delegation to London, which lodged a protest and set the nation on the path toward self-government. As one of the few women elected to Nigeria’s house of chiefs, she was recognized for her advocacy work on behalf of women's rights and education, and revered as the “Lioness of Lisabi” and the “Mother of Africa.”She died in 1978 after sustaining fatal injuries during a raid of her son’s compound. Her daughter Dolupo and three sons Beko, Olikoye, and Fela likewise became leaders in education, healthcare, and music, continuing their mother’s legacy of activism and advocacy.

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