Library Weekly

The ASCL's Library Weekly is our library’s weekly spotlight on African people and events. Inspired by the SciHiBlog, this service is based on information retrieved from Wikipedia and Wikidata and is completed with selected titles from the ASCL Library Catalogue. 

N.B. The weeklies are not updated and reflect the state of information at a given point in time.

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Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (Foto Wikimedia Commons: UNESCO, CC-BY-3.0)On 13 April 1978, Nigerian educator, political campaigner, suffragist, and women's rights activist Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti passed away. Born in Abeokuta on 25 October 1900, Ransome-Kuti was the first female student to attend the Abeokuta Grammar School. As a young adult, she worked as a teacher, organizing some of the first preschool classes in the country and arranging literacy classes for lower-income women.
During the 1940s, Ransome-Kuti established the Abeokuta Women’s Union and fought for women’s rights, demanding better representation of women in local governing bodies and an end to unfair taxes on market women. Described by media as the "Lioness of Lisabi", she led marches and protests of up to 10,000 women, forcing the ruling Alake to temporarily abdicate in 1949. As Ransome-Kuti’s political influence grew, she took part in the Nigerian independence movement, attending conferences and joining overseas delegations to discuss proposed national constitutions. Spearheading the creation of the Nigerian Women’s Union and the Federation of Nigerian Women’s Societies, she advocated for Nigerian women’s right to vote and became a noted member of international peace and women's rights movements.
Ransome-Kuti received the Lenin Peace Prize and was awarded membership in the Order of the Niger for her work. In her later years, she supported her sons' criticisms of Nigeria's military governments. She died aged 77 after being wounded in a military raid on family property. Ransome-Kuti's children included the musician Fela Kuti, doctor and activist Beko Ransome-Kuti, and health minister Olikoye Ransome-Kuti.

Selected Publications:

The Great Upheaval: Women and Nation in Postwar Nigeria / Judith A. Byfield. - Ohio University Press, to be published in July 2021
In: Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2016, pp. 107-127 (DOI: 10.1353/pal.2016.0016)
In: African studies review : the journal of the African Studies Association , vol. 55, no. 1, p. 1-12, 2013
In: Meridians 3 (2), p.250-277, 2003.
In: Women's studies international forum, 2009, Vol.32 (1), p.51-59
In: Nordic journal of African studies , vol. 8, no. 1, p. 94-116, 1999
Nigerian women mobilized : women's political activity in Southern Nigeria, 1900-1965. Nina-Emma Mba. - Berkeley, CA : University of California, Institute of International Studies (IIS), cop. 1982
Silent film of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and other Nigerian chiefs in London, England on YouTube

Family graph of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti via Wikidata