Lady Ademola Kofoworola

Lady Ademola Kofoworola (May 21, 1913 – May 15, 2002) was a Yoruba Nigerian educationist who was the first president of the National Council of Women Societies in Nigeria; she was head of the women’s organisation from 1958 to 1964. She was the first black African woman to earn a degree from Oxford University and also an author of children’s books.

Ademola was born to the family of Lagos lawyer, Eric Moore and his wife Aida Arabella (née Vaughan). She was a first cousin of Oyinkan Abayomi and a niece of Charlotte Obasa. She spent half of her young life in Lagos and the other half in U.K. Ademola was educated at C.M.S. Girls School, Lagos, Portway College, Reading and St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

She earned a degree in education and English from Oxford, while at Oxford she wrote a 21-page autobiography at the instance of Margery Perham to douse British stereotypes about Africans, she wrote of her childhood as a mixture of western cultural orientation and African orientation. 

Ademola returned to Nigeria in 1935 and took up an appointment as a teacher at Queens College. While in Lagos she participated in some women organisations such as YWCA. In 1939, she married Adetokunbo Ademola, a civil servant. As the wife of a Yoruba prince, she was entitled to the style Oloori, but as her husband was also a knight, it is as Lady Ademola that she was better known. Her husband’s work took the family to Warri and later to Ibadan and Ademola established links with the women organisations in both towns.

An authorised biography of Kofoworola Aina Ademola, Gbemi Rosiji’s Portrait of a Pioneer, was published in 1996.

While in Warri with her husband, Ademola was a member of a women’s literary circle and was a teacher at Warri College. When she moved to Ibadan, she began to cultivate friendship with Elizabeth Adekogbe of the Council of Nigerian Women and Tanimowo Ogunlesi of the Women’s Improvement Society. She was a member of the latter and was a bridge linking both organisations and a few others to join hands and form a collective organisation. 

In 1958, when the National Council of Women Societies was formed she was chosen was the first president. As president, she became a board member of the International Council of Women.

Ademola was also a social worker, teacher and educator, she co-founded two schools: the Girls Secondary Modern School in Lagos and New Era Girls’ Secondary School, Lagos. She was a director of the board of trustees of UBA and secretary of the Western Region Scholarship Board.

She also wrote children’s books, many of them based on West African folklore, including Greedy Wife and the Magic SpoonOjeje Trader and the Magic PebblesTutu and the Magic Gourds, and Tortoise and the Clever Ant, all part of the “Mudhut Book” series.

She held the chieftaincy titles of the Mojibade of Ake and the Lika of Ijemo.

Source: Wikipedia

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