International Women’s Day: Notable women from Ogun state

Estimated reading time: 16 minute(s)

Habeebat Ajayi

Every March 8 is duly meant to celebrate the Women’s Day. The first International Women’s Day (IWD) was held in 1911. Since then, various governments, NGOs, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women in Nigeria.

Women, synopsis of power and strength play various roles in our day-to-day domestic life, many personas, and many facets. In all her forms, lies the essence of fettle sacrifice, sometimes for the sake of her blood relations, sometimes for the sake of country performing 24×7 duties (those in law & order or other emergency public utilities) to run her family thereby taking the lead role.

But, sacrificing responsibly at the cost of her self-benefits and basic needs in a “patriarchal” society. What a pity to mention that such sacrifices are seldom recognized in our society and taken for granted. Even today, in various civilized areas of our country, tears are shed when a girl child is born in a family.

However, PLATFORM TIMES has compiled the list of notable women in Ogun state born in the state both living and dead.

Some of the dignitaries include; Hannan Idowu Awolowo, Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti, Kudirat Abiola, Folake Solanke, Funmilayo Anikulapo Kuti, Dr Elizabeth  Abimbola Awoliyi, Mrs Ebun Oyagbola, Falilat Ogunkoya

HID Awolowo (November 25, 1915 – September 19, 2015)
She was the wife of the first Premier of Western Region. She was born in Ikenne in Ogun state. She was known as the Matriarch of the Awolowo family. Her full name was Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo. She married Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Her surname was Adelana before she married. She stood by her husband through thick and thin. She even supported her husband when he travelled overseas to further his study.
There was hardly any Nigerian Head of State who did not pay homage to her while she was alive. She stood as a symbol of humility to her fellow women.

Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti (October 25, 1900 – April 13, 1978)
She was born in Abeokuta, Ogun state. Her full name was Francis Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas before she got married. She gave birth to Olikoye Ransome, one-time minister of Health; Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a popular Nigerian musician and Beko Ransome-Kuti who was a social crusader. She was also a social activist who fought for women’s rights during her lifetime.

Kudirat Abiola (1952 – June 4, 1996)
She was the second wife of the late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola. She stood by her husband during his struggle to reclaim his Saturday, June 12, 1993 presidential mandate till her death. She had a great zeal to seeing Nigeria become a better nation. She was assassinated during the regime of General Sani Abacha.

Chief Folake Solanke
Chief Folake Solanke, SAN, CON, is a Nigerian lawyer, administrator, and social critic. She is the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the first Nigerian female lawyer to wear the silk gown as Senior Counsel. Born: 29 March 1932 (age 86 years), Abeokuta

Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti
Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti, was a teacher, political campaigner,women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat in Nigeria. She served with distinction as one of the most prominent leaders of her generation. She was also the first woman in the country to drive a car.
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’sright to vote. She was described in 1947, by the West African Pilot, as the “Lioness of Lisabi” for her leadership of the women of the Egba people on a campaign against their arbitrary taxation. That struggle led to the abdication of the high king Oba Ademola II in 1949.

Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi (Iyaniwura)
She was born on the 11th of November, 1910 on Lagos Island. She was the fourth child in a family of seven. She started elementary school at the St. Mary’s Convent in Lagos State and from there to Queen’s College, Lahos and then proceeded to Dublin, Ireland to study medicine in 1929 after getting the Cambridge Examination Certificate.She qualified as a medical doctor in 1936.

She was the first West African female medical doctor with Licentiate of the Royal Surgeon (Dublin) and bagged a diploma in gynaecology and obstetrics at the Trinity College, Dublin (for laymen, that simply has to do with women and childbirth, and as a golden Iyaniwura that she was, you will agree, that makes a lot of sense). She became a specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics.

Chief Mrs Ebun Oyagbola
Chief Mrs Ebun Oyagbola, Born on May 5, 1931, Oyagbola is a native of Igan Alade, a town in Yewa North local government area of Ogun State, South-Western Nigeria where she completed her early education. She joined the Federal Civil Service in 1963 after completing her studies in England,United Kingdom. In December 1979, she became Nigeria’s first female cabinet minister after she was appointed Minister of National Planning under the Shehu Shagari-led administration, a position she held until October 1983.She later became Nigeria’s. Ambassador to the UnitedMexican States of Panama, Costa Ricaand Guatemala.She currently serves as the President of the Nigerian chapter of Attitudinal Healing International.

Fasilat Ogunkoya
Fasilat Ogunkoya (born 5 December 1968 in Ode Remo, Ogun State) is a Nigerian former track and field athlete who has won a number of national championships, including a gold medal in 1996 in the 400 metres, gold in the200 metres and 400 m in 1998, and gold again in 1999 and 2001 in the 400 m. At the 1987 All Africa Games in Nairobi she won the silver medal in the 200 m. In 1995 at the All Africa Games in Harare, she won the silver in the 400 m, and at the 1999 Games in Johannesburg she won a gold medal in the 400 m.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics she won a bronze medal in the 400 m, behind Marie-José Pérec of France and Cathy Freeman of Australia, in a personal best and African record of 49.10, which is currently the twelfth fastest of all time.


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