Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

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Chief Frances Abigail Olufunmilayo (Funmilayo) Ransome-Kuti (Thomas), MON

Also Known As: "Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti"
Birthplace: Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
Death: April 13, 1978 (77)
General Hospital, Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria (Homicide by falling)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Daniel Olumeyuwa Thomas and Lucretia Phyllis Omoyeni Thomas
Wife of Rev. Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti
Mother of Dolupo Ransome-Kuti; Olikoye Ransome-Kuti; Fela Kuti; Beko Ransome-Kuti; Private and 1 other
Sister of Private

Occupation: Educator, political campaigner, suffragist, women's rights activist
Managed by: S. Adele Adele Doherty, DDS
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a Nigerian educator, political campaigner, suffragist, and women's rights activist.

Fumilayo Ransome Kuti was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, and 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 advocated 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' criticism of Nigeria's military governments. She died at the age of 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.


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Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti's Timeline

October 25, 1900
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
December 30, 1927
Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria
October 15, 1938
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
August 2, 1940
Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
April 13, 1978
Age 77
General Hospital, Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria