Monday 29 April 2024

Professor Bolanle Awe: A Nigerian and Yoruba history professor

Dr Bolanle Awe was born on 28 January 1933 in the town of Ilesa, Colonial Nigeria to Samuel Akindeji Fajembola and Mosebolatan Abede.

Her father was originally from the town of Ibadan, and also he was a cocoa trader a manager at the John Holt & Co, a shipping and general merchandise company. Her mother was from the town of Ilesa, and was a member of the Abede family, a branch of the Royal House of Bilayirere, one of the 4 royal houses of Ilesa. Her mother was a teacher. Upon her father's transfer to one of the branches of John Holt & Co. in Ilesa, Awe was born.

She was born in a community where practitioners of Islam, Christianity, and the Yoruba religion lived harmoniously.

She attended Holy Trinity School, Omofe-Ilesha, before moving with her family to Ibadan when she was 8 years old, she later continued her education at St James Primary School, Okebola, Ibadan and St Anne's School, Ibadan.

She took her A-levels at the Perse School in Cambridge. She went to St Andrews University in Scotland where she obtained a master's degree in history, before taking a doctorate in history at Somerville College, Oxford.

Awe then returned to Nigeria, where she became the first female lecturer at the Department of History, at the University of Ibadan, this advancent made her the first female academic staff in a Nigerian university. She one of the pioneers of the comprehensive study of women’s history and feminist history.

This picture was taken in UK on April 19, 1973.

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