Grace Tinuke Oyelude was crowned the first Miss Nigeria in 1957 in a contest that involved over 200 young girls from all parts of Nigeria.
Born in Sabon Gari, Kano on November 16, 1931, to the Christian family of the late James Adeleye Oyelude and late Marthan Datanu of Isanlu in Kogi State, young and charming Tinuke had her elementary and secondary education between 1940 and 1952 in Kano.
After her secondary education, she had a stint with United African Company (UAC) of Kano in 1957 at the age of 26. She hit the world headlines when she was crowned the first Miss Nigeria few months after she gained admission into the school of nursing, Ashford Kent, England.
She completed her training and became a State Registered Nurse (SRN) in 1961. Not yet satisfied with her achievements, she enrolled immediately at the school of midwifery, St. Thomas Hospital, London from where she qualified as a state registered Midwife SCM (NRM) in 1962. Her thirst for laurels took her to the Royal College of Nursing, England in 1971 and obtained a Diploma in nursing and Hospital Administration (DNHA) and 1976, she obtained another diploma from Ghana Institute of Management and Personnel Administration.
While in the United Kingdom, Oyelude practiced in a number of hospitals between 1962 and 1963, among which is Paddington General Hospital;Kaduna between 1964 and 1965, then senior nursing sister – in – charge of the former Kaduna Nursing Home( now Barau Dike specialist Hospital, Kaduna) from 1965 to 1977.
At the outbreak of Civil war in 1967, national duty took her to Markurdi General Hospital where she headed a medical team from the then Northern region, which prepared hospitals for receiving war casualties and treating them.
By 1970, she joined the institute of Health, Ahmadu Bello University as a senior matron and became director, nursing services of the ABU teaching hospital, the position she held until she voluntarily retired in 1985.
In recognition of her professional qualification, competence and public spiritedness, she was made external examiner of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. Between 1980 and 1983, she was the chairman, Kwara State Health Management Board. She was honoured in the year 2001 in the Gambia by the West African College of nursing as the ‘ WACH‘s Florence nightingale of the 20th century.’
She is Iyaolu of Isalu land and also the Iyalode of Okun land.