|A.K.A.||Iyalode Wuraola Adepeju Esan|
Wuraola Esan or Iyalode Wuraola Adepeju Esan (1909–1985) was a Nigerian teacher, feminist and politician. She also combined her political ambitions with that of a traditional noblewoman by becoming the Iyalode of Ibadan.
Early life and education
Wuraola Adepeju Esan was born in 1909 in Calabar. Her parents were not western trained although they promoted a western educative course for their children. Esan attended Baptist Girls College, Idi Aba, Abeokuta before proceeding to the United Missionary College to earn a teachers training diploma. From 1930 to 1934, she was a domestic science teacher at a missionary training school in Akure. She later married Victor Esan in 1934 and they briefly lived in Lagos. A few years later she moved back to her hometown of Ibadan.
Although educational facilities available to women during the colonial era were limited. In 1944, she established the Ibadan People’s Girls Grammar School in Molete, to educate women in different subjects including domestic science. However, her views and subsequent political ideas did not advocate a much more expanded vision of women’s place in a broader society.
In the 1950s, she entered partisan politics and was a member of the women’s wing of the Action Group. Though the women were important instruments to garner votes, few were accorded official power and party-wide responsibility. However, Esan was able to rise through the ranks to become the first female member of the Nigerian National Assembly, as a nominated senator from Ibadan West. She was also a founding member of the National Council of Women Societies. In 1975 she took the title of Iyalode when she took the rank of a chief in Ibadan.