19 years ago (21st August 1997), Fran Kuboye (nee Ransome Kuti) passed away after a brief illness. Her untimely death came as a surprise as it happened just a few days after her uncle Fela Anikulapo Kuti passed away. Soon after she was buried, her cousin Sola Anikulapo Kuti also passed away. This meant 3 deaths in the family in 1997.
Born to Dolupo Ransome Kuti in England, Fran was named after her grandmother Funmilayo Francis Ransome Kuti. Pictured together with her grandmother as a child below, Frances grew up in England and studied Dentistry at the University of Sheffield. Apart from practicing dentistry in Nigeria and the Uk, she was also known for being a wife, mother, singer, tv personality, sax player, piano player and art painter. One of her more prominent tv roles included hosting the arts segment of the Sunday Show with Livi Ajuonuma (now late). She also appeared as a talent judge on many musical contest shows.
Like her grandmother, Fran championed and advocated for womens’ rights in her own way. She set up a non profit organization with Yemisi Ransome Kuti called Girl Watch to empower less privileged secondary school students on gender equality and social misnorms in African culture. Using the arts and crafts, young female students were taught about the dangers of female genital mutilation as well as the importance of using education to achieve gender equality. She also ran another program called TREE in My Life (Trees Rights Environment Empowerment) which used tree planting, music and arts as a way to teach students about the impact of seeds sewn through actions taken.
Picture credits @ Baba Kuboye on Instagram