Summary of personalities
Hajiya Gambo Sawaba
Hajiya Gambo Sawaba (1933 -2001) was a Nigerian women’s rights activist, politician and philanthropist. She served as the deputy chairman of Great Nigeria People’s Party and was elected leader of the national women’s wing of Northern Element Progressive Union (NEPU). She was a campaigner against under-aged marriages, forced labour, and advocated for western education in the north. Mentored by Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, she is widely regarded as the pioneer of northern women liberation.
Interesting facts about Hajiya Gambo Sawaba
- Gambo was said to have been sent to jail a staggering 16 times in her lifetime – usually on trumped-up charges – and was often brutalised by the police.
- In 1953, she organised an inaugural meeting of the women’s wing in Kano city.
- In July 1958, during NEPU’s second congress, the women’s wing decided to join up with the Nigerian Women’s Union, which was under the leadership of Ransome-Kuti.
- During the second republic, Gambo became a member of the Great Nigeria People’s Party and served as a deputy chairman.
- In the 70s, she was involved in small-scale trading and later worked as a contractor.
- Through the first republic, she continued with her political activities sometimes suffering humiliating punishments from opposition thugs. She supported women’s right to vote and was eventually elected leader of the national women’s wing of NEPU.
- She was a supporter of the Northern Elements Progressive Union during the Nigerian First Republic.