Funmilayo Ransome Kuti ( 1900 Abeokuta, Nigeria – 1978 Lagos, Nigeria) was a teacher, political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat. She served with distinction as one of the most prominent leaders of her generation.
Funmilayo 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, as the “Lioness of Lisabi” for her leadership of the women of the Egba clan that she belonged to on a campaign against their arbitrary taxation. That struggle led to the abdication of the Egba high king Oba Ademola II in 1949. Throughout her career, she was known as an educator and activist.
Funmilayo received the national honor of membership in the Order of Nigeria in 1965. The University of Ibadan bestowed upon her the honorary doctorate of laws in 1968. She also held a seat in the Western House of Chiefs of Nigeria as an oloye of the Yoruba people.
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