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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

How well do you know Funmilayo Ransome- Kuti, first woman to drive car in Nigeria

Ransome-Kuti was the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car. She was also the sole female member of Nigeria’s 1947 mission to London; which registered a complaint and launched the country on the path to self-government.   

Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car. She was also a teacher, political campaigner, women’s rights activist, and traditional aristocrat.  

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a frequent traveller. She has visited several countries all over the world.  

Before Nigeria’s independence, she travelled to the former Soviet Union, Hungary, and China; there she met Mao Zedong, the communist revolutionary.  

Her visit to Eastern bloc nations enraged the Nigerian colonialist administration, as well as the British and American governments.  

In 1956, the government refused to renew her passport because it was suspected that her goal was to persuade Nigerians, particularly women, to support communist ideals and practices.

She was also denied a visa to the United States because the American authorities said she was a communist.  

Also read: Indigenous Nigerian(s) who did it first

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was one of the delegates that worked with the British administration to negotiate Nigeria’s independence.   

She was the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize. The Soviet Government bestowed the Prize on high profile personalities, prominent Communists, and supporters of the Soviet Union.  

In 2012, her image was being evaluated for inclusion on the planned N5000 note to immortalize her. The Nigerian government subsequently abandoned the concept of an N5000 note.  

She was thrown out from the window of a three-story building (Kalakuta Republic) owned by her musician son, Fela, in February 1978. When a thousand military soldiers rushed the structure, this occurred. She went into a coma and died on April 13, 1978, because of the injuries she incurred in the accident. 

After her death, her son Fela carried her coffin to Dodan Barracks, Nigeria’s Supreme Military Headquarters at the time, and left it at the gate. This was done to embarrass the Obasanjo-led military administration for invading his property and killing his mother. 

Fela’s song “Coffin for Head of State” was inspired by the invasion.   

 

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