Google is celebrating the Nigerian icon Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti with a Google Doodle on her 119th birthday in recognition of her achievements.
Born in the year 1900, Frances Abigail Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was the grandchild of slaves in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state. She was one of the first women to receive an education in Abeokuta Grammar School after which she travelled to Cheshire in England to continue her education.
Upon her return to Nigeria, she dropped her given English names Frances Abigail and became known afterwards as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.
Ransome-Kuti took on the task of bridging the gap in the standard of living between educated women and their uneducated/poor counterparts. She established the Abeokuta Ladies Club and used the club to smoothen relationships between women regardless of class.
She reckoned that every person should have a chance at education and therefore pioneered the adult education program through the Abeokuta Ladies Club.
Improved healthcare, social services and economic opportunities for financial growth are part of what the club advocated for. The ladies club was renamed the Abeokuta Women Union in 1946.
When Funmilayo thought something was wrong, she said it without fear of government. This was not without its consequences.
In 1947, she was imprisoned for protesting against unfair treatment of women. She remained undeterred, however, and still led her followers to call for the abdication of a leader who had abused his position.
“As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned,”Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti,
Ransome-Kuti believed in fair governance and was the only female in the 1947 delegation to London to advocate for self-governance for Nigeria.
The only woman elected to the Nigerian House of Chiefs, Ransome-Kuti was bold and fearless.
Her personality and strength of character have been captured in some measure by the Nigerian-Italian artist Diana Ejaita. The artist depicted Funmilayo’s femininity and strength.
A captivating representation of a riveting woman.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!