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Biographies of 4 most influential women in Africa

Biographies of 4 most influential women in Africa

Women are pivotal in the development of Africa and over the years, many women have left their comfort zones to take up leading roles in the struggles for a better warfare for the people.

In this report, presents some of these women whose roles helped shaped history.

1. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti - The Woman Activist

Born on October 25, 1900 in Abeokuta in present day capital of Ogun state, South west Nigeria, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, was a women’s rights activist and a traditional aristocrat in Nigeria. She was one of the most prominent women leaders in her generation. She was the first woman in the country to drive a car.

Following her doggedness, she was described as the doyen of female rights and the mother of Africa. She was a very powerful force advocating for the Nigerian woman's right to vote and fought for women’s recognition in government.

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She was raised by parents who valued education and became the first girl-student admitted to Abeokuta Grammar School, hence, her nickname-Beere which means first girl in Yoruba.

She later went to England for further studies. She soon returned to Nigeria and became a teacher. On 20 January 1925, she married the Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti.

7 African female icons that shaped history

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti - The Woman Activist. Credit: Google

2. Yaa Asantewa - The Commander in Chief

The strong woman was named Queen Mother of the Ejisuhene (part of the Asante or Ashanti Confederacy) by her exiled brother Nana Akwasi Afrane Okpese.

In 1900, she led the Ashanti war known as the War of the Golden Stool, also known as the Yaa Asantewaa war, against British colonialism.

Because of his opposition to British rule in West Africa, in 1896, Asantehene (King) Prempeh I of the Asanteman federation was exiled to the Seychelles islands by the British.

After the kings' exile, the British colonial governor Frederick Hodgson, in 1900, called the Ashantehene local rulers and asked them to surrender to the British their historical, ancestral Golden Stool - a dynastic symbol of the Ashanti empire.

While, the men were deliberating, she stood up and said:

"Now I have seen that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our king. If it were the brave days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anokye and Opuku Ware I, chiefs would not sit down to see their king taken without firing a shot. No white man could have dared to speak to the Chief of Asante in the way the governor spoke to you chiefs this morning. Is it true that the bravery of Asante is no more? I cannot believe it. It cannot be! I must say this: if you, the men of Asante, will not go forward, then we will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls on the battlefield."

Consequently, she was chosen by a number of regional Asante kings to be the war-leader of the Asante fighting force.

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Biographies of 5 most influential women in Africa

Yaa Asantewa - The Commander in Chief. Credit: Google

3. Winnie Mandela - The president’s wife

Born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela on 26 September 1936, winnine went on to marry Nelson Mandela, a lawyer and political activist who later became the president of South Africa.

Winnie was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, including 27 years during which he was imprisoned.

Her supporters refer to her as "Mother of the Nation".

She earned her degree in social work in 1956, and several years later earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of Witwatersrand.

She held a number of jobs in various parts of what was then the Bantustan of Transkei, including with the Transkei government, living at various times in Bizana, Shawbury and Johannesburg. Her first job was as a social worker at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

She was regularly detained by the South African government. She was tortured subjected to house arrest, kept under surveillance, held in solitary confinement for over a year and banished to a remote town. She emerged as a leading opponent of apartheid during the later years of her husband's imprisonment.

From 1969, she spent eighteen months in solitary confinement at Pretoria Central Prison. She organised local clinics, campaigned actively for equal rights and was promoted by the ANC as a symbol of its struggle against apartheid.

Biographies of 5 most influential women in Africa

Winnie Mandela - The president’s wife. Credit: Google

4. Margaret Ekpo - The fashionable feminist

Margaret Ekpo was a pioneering female politician in Nigeria's First Republic and a leading member of a class of traditional Nigerian women activists.

Ekpo played major roles as a grassroot and nationalist politician in the Eastern Nigerian city of Aba.

Margaret Ekpo was born in Creek Town, Cross River State, to the family of Okoroafor Obiasulor and Inyang Eyo Aniemewue. She reached standard six of the school leaving certificate in 1934.

Married to a civil servant who could not attend political meetings, Margaret Ekpo attended them in his place of her husband.

The meeting was about the discriminatory practices of the colonial administration in the city and to efforts to fight cultural and racial imbalance in administrative promotions.

Ekpo used the association to promote women solidarity as a platform to fight for the economic rights of women, economic protections and expansionary political rights of women.

Biographies of 5 most influential women in Africa

Margaret Ekpo - The fashionable feminist. Credit: Google

Meanwhile, had reported that according to the 14th amendment of the USA constitution, if a person was born on the American soil, he or she can be granted an American citizenship.

It is one of the reasons why pregnant women come travel to the USA to give births. Let us take a look at the top 7 benefits of giving birth in the USA for foreigners.


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