Google Doodle Celebrates Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Activist For Nigerian Women’s Rights

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, a women’s rights activist in Nigeria, would have been 119 on Friday, Oct. 25, when a Google doodle celebrating her life appeared on the search engine’s homepage. 

Google alters the logo on its homepage most days with an image or animation to celebrate achievements, people, holidays and events.

A few doodles deemed to have global appeal are shown internationally while others are geographically-restricted, created for a local audience as was the case with the Ransome-Kuti doodle.

Africans are featured on Google doodles most months. On Oct. 1, Nigeria’s independence day was celebrated on a Google doodle. On July 21, Nigerian novelist Buchi Emecheta was honored with a doodle. Algeria’s independence day was celebrated in July as well.

A Google doodle for the ‘Mother of Africa’

Ransome-Kuti was a teacher, political campaigner, and female rights activist who was described as “The Mother of Africa”, according to Techawk.

Born on Oct. 25, 1900, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, she fought for the right of women to vote in Nigeria — something that only happened in 1979.

google doodle
Google celebrated the life of Nigerian women’s rights activist Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti with a Google doodle on the anniversary of her death. Image by Autumn Keiko

Ransome-Kuti is remembered as the first woman in Nigeria to drive a car and motorcycle. She was the first female student at the Abeokuta Grammar School which she attended from 1914 to 1917, OkayAfrica reports.

She was the mother of late great Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti — known professionally as Fela Kuti — and grandmother to musicians Seun Kuti and Femi Kuti. She died in Lagos on April 13, 1978, the year before her activism would help enable women’s voting rights.

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The doodle depicting Ransome-Kuti’s accomplishments was illustrated by Nigerian-Italian artist Diana Ejaita.