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Profiling Oyinkansola Abayomi, The Feminist and Nationalist Who Campaigned for the Education of Nigerian, African Women

Oyinkansola Abayomi, also known as Lady Oyinkan was popular for being a feminist and nationalist as she campaigned for the education of women.

Born to the family of Mr and Mrs Kitoye Ajasa in 1897, Lady Oyinkan attended the Anglican Girls’ Seminary in Lagos before she travelled to England to study at the Young Ladies Academy at Ryford Hall, Gloucestershire. There, she joined the Girls’ Guide.

In 1917, Lady Oyinkan went to the Royal Academy in London where she studied music.

In 1920, she returned to Nigeria and worked as a music teacher at her old school, which had been renamed the Anglican Girls’ School.

Lady Oyinkan joined the Nigerian Girls’ Guide Association founded by an English woman and became the first Nigerian woman to serve as a supervisor.

She was a founding teacher at the Queens College and the first Nigerian to work there. She also became one of the first women in Lagos to drive a car.

In August 1923, she married a lawyer, Moronfolu Abayomi, who was assassinated two months later.

Through her West African Educated Girls’ Club, Oyinkan promoted and did a fund-raising for Queens’s College which was established in 1927, and she became a founding teacher at the school.

In 1930, Lady Oyinkan remarried Kofoworola Abayomi.

In 1931, the Girls’ Guide was recognized and supported by the Nigerian government and Oyinkan later became the chief commissioner for the association.

In May 1944, Lady Oyinkan founded the Nigerian Women’s Party, which sought for equal opportunities for women.

In 1954, her husband, Kofo Abayomi was knighted and she became known as Lady Oyinkan.

Three years after her husband died, Lady Oyinkan retired in 1982 from the Girls’ Guide and was given the honorary title of a Life President.

She was also honoured with several traditional chieftaincy titles including being the Iya Abiye of Egbaland. Lady Oyinkan died in 1990.

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