Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Dideolu Awolowo, the matriarch of the Awolowo family and wife of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, passed on at the age of 99 yesterday, September 19.
234Forum researched on the life and times of the late matriarch of the Awolowo family and brings to your reading 12 things about her.
1. Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo née Adelana was born November 25, 1915, in Ikenne community of Ogun State. The daughter of the second of her father’s three wives, and the only one of the seven children borne by her mother to survive long after birth.
2. She was popularly known as HID.
3. She attended Saint Saviour’s Anglican School, Saint Peter’s School, and Methodist Girls’ High School in Lagos.
4. She was married to politician Obafemi Awolowo from December 26, 1937 to his death in 1987.
5. Her husband famously referred to her as his “jewel of inestimable value”.
6. As an astute politician, she was the first lady of the old Western Region when Awolowo was Premier in the first republic. During the crisis in that political dispensation, she stood in for her husband in the alliance formed between the NCNC and the AG, called the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), while he was tried and in jail.
7. A businesswoman, she became the first Nigerian distributor for the Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC) in 1957 and the first to import lace materials and other textiles into Nigeria.
8. She was the Yeye Oodua of Yorubaland, bestowed on her by the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
9. She was also a recipient of the national award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
10. She was blessed with five children (Segun, Olusegun, Omotola, Oluwole, and Ayo), 20 grand children and 32 great grand children.
11. She founded Didelou Stores Ltd, Ligu Distribution Services Ltd (after 1946), backed the founding of The Nigerian Tribune, later expanded to include the African Newspapers of Nigeria Ltd, and African Press Ltd. (1949).
12. She is the maternal grandmother of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo’s wife, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo.