Driving in Africa is the most popular way of transport in many parts of the continent. It is also very common to see women drive in this part of the world.

But some years ago, it was very unusual until a Nigerian woman, Funmilayo Ransome- Kuti broke such a record.

She was originally born Frances Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas, but earned the Ransome-Kuti she was popularly identified as after her marriage to one Reverend Israel Olodotun.

Between 1935 and 1936, the couple arranged to purchase a secondhand car and had it shipped to them from England, making Ransome-Kuti the first woman in Abeokuta to drive a car and arguably the first in Africa.

She also etched her name in the history books as the first, among six girls to attend the district’s secondary school which was hitherto open to only male students.

Funmilayo later became known as the ‘Mother of Africa’ through her Abeokuta Women Union where she mentored women to elevate them to middle class status.

Funmilayo and her mentees from the Ladies Club

She gave birth to famous African musicians and activists; Feli Kuti is her son.

Musician Femi Kuti is her grandson.

And she is also the auntie of African literature icon, Wole Soyinka.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti is one of the most celebrated African women of all time and her contribution speaks for her even in death.