Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, (Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti), was an influential woman of African politics in the first half of the 20th century. She was also the first African woman to drive a car in Nigeria.
Ransome-Kuti was of the Yoruba people and the daughter of Daniel Olumeyuwa Thomas, a small planter who had been an emancipated, baptized slave returned from Sierra Leone and Lucretia Phyllis Omoyeni Adeosolu, a seamstress.
After completing her primary education, she moved to England to further her studies. She later returned to Nigeria where she became a teacher, political campaigner and activist for women’s rights.
For women who were involved in charitable work she founded the Abeokuta Ladies’ Club (ALC) in 1942. Ransome-Kute also organized the social Welfare for Market Women club to help women who were working-class to further their education. Through the organization the first adult education program for women was started in Nigeria.
As an activist, Ransome-Kuti led a protest against Native Authorities, especially against the Alake of Egbaland in 1949. Ransome-Kuti along with her sister-in-law also founded the Egba or Abeokuta Women’s Union.
During her political career, Ransome-Kuti was thrown from a third-floor window of her son Fela’s compound, a commune was known as the Kalakuta Republic. The compound was stormed by one thousand armed military personnel in 1978. After the fall, Ransome-Kuti fell into a coma in February of that year and died on April 13, 1978.