Nigerian women who made history
Nigerian women are courageous who cannot be ignored in the economic, political and growth of the country. In fact, Nigeria’s history cannot be complete without stories about the role of women.
Some women piloted different courses and made a distinct impact with their selfless works and ambitions, and this has brought them national and international recognition.
We put the spotlight on some of the women whose actions have left a significant impact on our history.
Madam Olufunmilayo Ransom-Kuti was an activist, teacher, political campaigner, and founder of the Nigerian Women’s Union. She is noted to have fought for women’s rights including driving.
She was the first woman to drive a car in the entire country. Apart from being one of the prominent leaders of her generation. She was also the mother of Afrobeat musician and political activist, Fela Kuti.
Meet Nigeria’s first female political activist. She is credited with helping women insert themselves into the First Republic. This refers to the period after Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960, and January 15, 1966, when the first military coup d’état took place.
Margaret Ekpo has an airport named after her.
Ladi Dosei Kwali
Ladi Kwali was a Nigerian potter. Born in the village of Kwali in the Gwari region of Northern Nigeria, where pottery was an indigenous female tradition, she learned to make pottery as a child by her aunt, using the traditional method of coiling. She later pioneered modern pottery in Nigeria. She is also the first and only Nigerian woman to appear on a currency note– the N20 note.
Florence Nkiru Nwapa
Renowned Nigerian author, Flora Nwapa is known for her legacy as the forerunner to a generation of African women writers and the mother of African Literature.
She is also Africa’s first female novelist to have an internationally published work in the English language.
She is the first female governor in Nigeria’s history having become the Governor of Anambra State from November 2006 to February 2007.
Etiaba is a native of Ezekwuabor Otolo-Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Council of Anambra State.
Grace Alele Williams
Professor Grace Alele-Williams is an educator who made history as the First Female Vice-Chancellor of a Nigerian university; the University of Benin. She was also the first Nigerian woman to receive a doctorate degree. A professor of mathematics education, Williams was one of the first Nigerian women to obtain a PhD in Mathematics.
Sarah Nnadzwa Jibril
She is Nigeria’s first female presidential candidate both at the primaries and main elections. She contested to be president on four separate occasions. Jubril also served as the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on ethics and moral values.
She is a Nigerian lawyer, administrator, and social critic. She is the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN).
On July 21, 1994, she became the 42nd and first African, and non-Caucasian President of Zonta International since its establishment in 1919. Zonta International is an international service organization that focuses primarily on advancing the status of women.
Captain Chinyere Onyenaucheya
Meet Nigeria’s first female commercial pilot and the the first woman to fly an aircraft in Nigeria. She served as the rector and chief instructor of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology between October 2011 and February 2014.
Agbani Darego entered the history books when she won the Miss World title in 2001. The victory made her the first Sub-Saharan woman to win the coveted pageant.
A native of Abonnema, Rivers State, Agbani longed to be a model, and despite her conservative father’s wishes, she auditioned for the M-Net Face of Africa modelling competition, but was not chosen as a finalist.
Her dream of being a top model was however fulfilled as shortly after her reign as Miss World.
She was represented by the London and Paris branches of Next Model Management and landed a three-year contract with L’Oréal, becoming the second Black model to accomplish this feat after Vanessa Williams,