YORUBA: A Great People, A Great Heritage

Why the enemies want to destroy us

By Sunday Wale Adeniran

The first Nigerian Medical Doctor was Nathaniel Thomas King. His father was Rev Thomas King who assisted Bishop Ajayi Crowder in translating the Bible to Yoruba language. Dr King lived from 1847 to 1884.

The first Nigerian Lawyer was Chief Sapara Williams. A Yoruba man who became a Lawyer in 1879. He was the Lodifi of Ilesa.

The first Nigerian to release a music album was Canon Josiah Jesse Ransome-Kuti, Fela Anikulapo’s grandfather and Wole Soyinka’s great grandfather. He released it in 1878 and his last album was released in August 1921. His works as still kept at the British Museum.

In 1894, Olayinka Herbert Macaulay became the first trained Nigerian Engineer. He also trained in England as an Architect. He was a Civil Engineer. He later ventured into politics and formed the first political party in Nigeria, Nigeria National Democratic Party, NNDP in 1923 and later the NCNC, the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons. He is widely considered as the founder on Nigerian Nationalism. He was also a Journalist and a Surveyor.

The first woman to qualify and practice as a Lawyer was Stella Thomas who became a Lawyer in 1935 and also became the first female magistrate in Nigeria in 1943.

Dr Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi nee Akerele was the first female physician in Nigeria. She became a Medical Doctor in 1910.

Folake Solanke was the first female Senior Advocate in Nigeria. She was also the first Nigerian female lawyer to wear the silk gown as Senior Counsel.

The first indigenous Chief Justice of Nigeria was Sir Adetokunbo Ademola. He was also the longest serving Chief Justice of Nigeria between 1958 and 1972.

Chief Akintola Williams was the first Chattered Accountant in Nigeria who qualified in 1919 and also the first Nigerian to form a private accounting firm, Akintola Williams and Co in 1952.

Chief Adeola Odutola Nigeria’s first Industrialist and the first President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. He was a student under Rev Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, father of Olikoye, Fela and Beko and husband to Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.

The first Nigerian to play professional football abroad was Teslim Olawale Balogun who played for Peterborough United (1955-1956) Skegness Town (1956) Queens Park Rangers (1956-1957) and Holbeach United (1957-1958).

The first woman to own a car in Nigeria was Madam Efunroye Tinubu, Iyalode Egba and a very rich trader.

The first woman to drive a car in Nigeria was Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the mother of Olikoye, Fela and Beko.

Emmanuel Olatunde Odeku (born, Emanuel Olatunde Alaba Olanrewaju Odeku from Awe in Oyo state 1927, Lagos, Nigeria – died, London, 1974) was the first African neurosurgeon trained in the United States who also pioneered neurosurgery in Africa.

The first bank in Nigeria was established in Lagos in 1894, 10 years before the amalgamation. Its second branch was opened in Calabar in 1912 and it was facilitated by King Jaja of Opobo. It had its first northern branch in Zaria.
It is First Bank Nigeria.

In 1986, Professor Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka, the great grandson of Canon Josiah Jesse Ransome-Kuti became the first African to win a Nobel Laureate in Literature.

In 1976, Shooting Stars Sports Club 3SC of Ibadan formerly known as WNDC Ibadan (Western Nigeria Development Company), and were later called IICC (Industrial Investment and Credit Corporation) won the African Winners’ Cup thereby becoming the first Nigerian club side to win continental honour for Nigeria.

The first Nigerian to score a World Cup goal was Rashidi Yekini. He was a Yoruba man from Kwara state. He scored it against Bulgaria at USA ‘94.

The first television station in Africa was the Western Nigerian Television Service located in Ibadan’s and established in 1959.

The first university in Nigeria is University of Ibadan.

CMS Grammar School, Lagos is the oldest secondary school in Nigeria. It was established in 1859.

And the first known primary school in Nigeria was Nursery of the Infant Church established in 1843 in Badagry and moved to its permanent site and renamed St Thomas Primary School in 1845.

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