Hajiya Gambo Sawaba was an indomitable fighter and advocate for the rights of women and children who vigorously pursued the cause of the talakawa (down-trodden) with a kind of energy that was the envy of many men.
Hajia Gambo Sawaba, was born in Zaria on 15 February 1933 and died 14 October 2001 at ABUTH Zaria, after a protracted illness.
She was a campaigner against under-aged marriages, forced labour and an advocate for western education in the north.
Gambo made a name for herself when at a political lecture during her career in the North, she climbed up and spoke out in a room full of men.
She was mentored by Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and traveled to meet her in Abeokuta years later. In July 1958, Sawaba led the women’s wing of NEPU to form an alliance with the Nigerian Women Union (NWU) under the leadership of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.
She is widely regarded as the pioneer of fighting for the liberation of northern women.
Sawabiya later shortened to Sawaba meaning freedom or redemption, was not her name at birth, but it was given to her by her political mentor, Malam Aminu Kano, after she had been elected president general of NEPU’s women’s wing.
Sawaba campaigned against under-aged marriages, forced labour, unfair taxes, and canvassed for jobs for women, education for girls, and full voting rights. She also advocated for western education in the north, however, her activism didn’t go without a price.
As a member of the opposition party challenging constituted authority, she was imprisoned several times by the colonial authorities and officials of native administration.
One of the times she was imprisoned was during her trip to Kano to help NEPU canvass for women’s support, reports of her activities in the town was said to have reached the Emir. She was arrested and tried before the Alkali court and was jailed. After her release, she was ordered to leave Kano.
She is also rated as the most jailed Nigerian female. A general hospital is named after her in Kadunaand a hostel at Bayero University, Kano is also named after her.
Culled from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambo_Sawaba