See Why Nigerians Can’t Forget Fela’s Mum In A Hurry, And How She Died

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Fela Kuti, the legendary Nigerian musician, is often celebrated for his revolutionary Afrobeat music and staunch political activism. However, his mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, is a towering figure in her own right, leaving an indelible mark on Nigeria’s history that cannot be forgotten.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, born in 1900, was a pioneering feminist and political leader who played a crucial role in Nigeria’s struggle for independence and the fight for women’s rights. She was one of the most prominent activists of her time, advocating for social justice, education, and the liberation of Nigeria from colonial rule.

One of her most notable contributions was the founding of the Abeokuta Women’s Union (AWU) in the 1940s. The AWU, under her leadership, became a formidable force, championing the rights of women against the oppressive colonial taxation system. Funmilayo led massive protests and campaigns that significantly disrupted the colonial administration’s policies, highlighting her exceptional organizational skills and fearless dedication to social change. Her efforts culminated in the abdication of the Alake of Egbaland, who was perceived as a colonial puppet, marking a significant victory for the AWU and women’s rights in Nigeria.

Funmilayo was also a trailblazer in education and women’s empowerment. She was the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car and one of the first to advocate for and receive a formal education, setting a powerful example for Nigerian women. She tirelessly worked to improve educational opportunities for girls and women, believing that education was crucial for their emancipation.

Her political activism extended beyond Nigeria. Funmilayo was a founding member of the Nigerian Union of Teachers and the Nigerian Youth Movement, and she was involved in various international organizations, advocating for African women’s rights on a global stage. She traveled extensively, meeting with leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah and Mao Zedong, further cementing her status as a global figure in the fight against colonialism and for women’s liberation.

Funmilayo’s legacy is etched in Nigeria’s collective memory not just because of her remarkable achievements but also due to the brutal manner of her death. In 1978, she was thrown from a window during a military raid on Fela’s commune, the Kalakuta Republic, suffering injuries that led to her death. This tragic event underscored the ruthless suppression faced by activists in Nigeria and immortalized her as a martyr for justice….Fínd Out Móre

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