Ransome-Kuti family

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political family
The family of the Reverend Israel and Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti: Dolu is behind her parents and her brother Fela is in the foreground, baby in the chief's arms is Beko, Olikoye is to the right
Parent houseOodua
Current regionYorubaland
Place of originOrile Igbein, Egba Forest
FounderLikoye Kuti
Connected familiesJibolu-Taiwo family
Soyinka family
DistinctionsNobel Prize for Literature
Lenin Peace Prize
Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic
Member of the Order of the Niger

The Ransome-Kuti family is a Nigerian Yoruba political family noted for its simultaneous contributions to art, religion, education and medicine. The first member to bear the name Ransome, the Reverend Josiah Jesse "J.J." Ransome-Kuti, adopted it in honour of the Anglican missionary that had first converted his family to Christianity. He followed his father Likoye Kuti - an Egba griot - into the musical vocation, and wrote a series of popular hymns in the Yoruba language while serving as an Anglican cleric.

The descendants of J.J.'s son, the Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, and Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti include a Health minister (who had also served as a university professor), a political activist (who would himself later be adopted as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience), and six further musicians (including one that founded and led a political party and two Grammy Award nominees).

The Ransome-Kutis have been known to form marital unions with other families of the Yoruba elite: The branch descended from Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti is a sept of the aristocratic Jibolu-Taiwo family of Egbaland by virtue of its descent from her, while the one descended from the Reverend Samuel Ayodele Soyinka, the husband of Grace Eniola Ransome-Kuti, is related to the royal family of Isara-Remo through him.

Family tree[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Gibbs, James (1988). "Biography into Autobiography: Wole Soyinka and the Relatives Who Inhabit 'Ake'". The Journal of Modern African Studies. 26 (3): 517–548. doi:10.1017/S0022278X00011757. JSTOR 160896.
  • Fargion, Janet Topp (12 January 2016). "The Ransome-Kuti Dynasty". The British Library. Retrieved 2018-10-18.

External links[edit]

  • The Shrine The unofficial website for Fela Kuti and Afrobeat Music, with biographies of Fela, Femi and Seun Kuti.