CHIEF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO G.C.F.R., S.A.N March 6, 1909 – May 9, 1987

Awolowo (2)
Jeremiah Oyeniyi Obafemi Awolowo was born on March 6, 1909, to Chief David Sopolu Awolowo and his wife Mary Efunyela Awolowo in Ikenne, Remo, in what is now Ogun State of Nigeria..He had his primary school education at St. Saviour’s School, Ikenne, and at Imo Wesleyan School, Abeokuta.His education at this early stage was interrupted for several years by the sudden death of his father in April 1920, an event that left him without financial support.

Despite all odds, he did not drop out of school. Rather, he struggled hard to achieve his focus. At times he fetched firewood for sale, and do similar jobs, to support his schooling.

He had higher education at Wesley College, Ibadan (a teachers’ college) in 1927, and much later at the University of London as an External Student.

He was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) and the Bachelor of Laws by the University of London.

He was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple on November 19, 1946.

In 1954, Awolowo became the first Premier of the Western Region. His party won the elections again in May 1956 and Awo (as he was popularly called) retained his position as Premier.

He voluntarily gave up that position when, on December 12, 1959, he was elected into the House of Representatives where he became the Leader of Opposition in Nigeria’s central legislature.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo introduced and successfully implemented the first Free Primary Education programme in Africa.

He also introduced and successfully managed the first Free Medical Service programme in Nigeria – for children up to the age of 18.


To read and enjoy the life history of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in full, go and read The Legend: Chief Obafemi Awolowo published by Lantern Books. The book contains an interesting story about the life and times of the late sage and elder statesman (Chief Obafemi Awolowo) for you children who may not have known much about the great man

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