Funmilayo Ransome Kuti Biography Celebrated by Google

Full Name : Francis Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas
Born: 25 October 1900
Abeokuta, Southern Nigeria
(now Abeokuta, Ogun State)
Died 13 April 1978 (aged 77)
Lagos, Nigeria
Spouse(s) Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti
Olikoye Ransome-Kuti (son)
Beko Ransome-Kuti (son)
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (son)
Dolapo Ransome-Kuti (daughter)
Femi Kuti (grandson)
Seun Kuti (grandson)
Wole Soyinka (nephew)
Yeni Kuti (grand daughter)
Yemisi Ransome-Kuti (niece)
Occupation Educator, politician, women’s rights activist

Who is Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti?

Francis Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas was born on 25 October 1900, in Abeokuta, to Daniel Olumeyuwa Thomas (1869-1954) and Lucretia Phyllis Omoyeni Adeosolu (1874-1956) of the Jibolu-Taiwo family.

Her father was a son of a slave who returned back home, Ebenezer Sobowale Thomas, from the country of Sierra Leone, He was able to traced his ancestral history back to Abeokuta in what is today Ogun State, Nigeria. He became a member of the Anglican faith, and soon returned to the homeland of his fellow Egbas


These days in Nigeria Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti is often remembered as “Mama Fela”, the mother of Afrobeat legend, band leader and activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is being Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Celebrated by Google.

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti Celebrated by Google -
Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and Fela Kuti

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Celebrated by Google

But Ransome-Kuti was a legend in her own right particularly when it comes to the story of Nigeria’s battle for independence and for gender equality. That’s why Google has recognized the matriarchal icon for its users in Nigeria with a Google Doodle today (Oct. 25) on what would have been her 119th birthday.

During Nigeria’s colonial years Ransome-Kuti played a pivotal role in Nigeria’s southwestern region in taking on the British administrators and fighting for universal adult suffrage. When the British colonial officers refused to give permits for demonstrations, activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti mobilized local market women for what she called “picnics” and festivals.

“As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned,” said Ransome-Kuti, as she “fearlessly campaigned for women’s rights and the liberation of Africa from colonial rule.”

She was born 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.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Celebrated by Google

As the grandchild of a slave, she became one of the first girls to enroll in Abeokuta Grammar School, before traveling 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.

One of few women in early 1920s Nigeria to receive post-primary education, Ransome-Kuti used her privilege to coordinate the resistance against colonialism in Nigeria that not only targeted the British but also the local traditional figureheads they used to enforce their rules.

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The Abeokuta Women’s Union, which she founded, protested unjust taxes, corruption and the lack of women’s representation in decision-making corridors.

As Quartz has previously noted the mother of anti-colonial activism in Nigeria is rarely celebrated outside of early primary school texts, but as her son once sang: “She’s the only mother of Nigeria.”

The doodle was illustrated by Nigerian-Italian guest artist Diana Ejaita, whose art work acknowledges Ransome-Kuti’s role as an educator, activist leader and as the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car.

Death of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

In her later years, her activism was obscured by her three sons, who effectively opposed various juntas in Nigeria. Ransome-Kuti was dropped by a third-floor window of her son’s Fela compound in 1978, known as the Kalakuta Republic, when it was violently attacked by 1,000 armed military personnel Attack. She fell into a coma in February of that year and died of her injuries on April 13, 1978.

After Ransome-Kuti’s death, Fela took the coffin of his mother and went to the Dodan Barracks in Lagos (then Nigeria’s highest military headquarters) for nearly 20 kilometers, placing the coffin at the gate to humiliate the government. His song “The Head of State’s Coffin” details the invasion, death, and movement of the coffin.

see also : Muhammadu Buhari Untold Story and Net Worth


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