Constance Agatha Cummings-John


Manage episode 243937800 series 1301287
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The author Chibundu Onuzo nominates the first elected female in Africa, Constance Agatha Cummings-John. Chibundu discovered the remarkable story of Constance while studying for her PhD. Born into the Sierra Leonean Krios elite in 1918, Constance was brought up in colonial Freetown, with a lifestyle which most resembled English gentility. But everything changed for her when she travelled to England and America as a teenager. She experienced racism and segregation for the first time, and returned to Sierra Leone determined to fight the colonial rule of the British. At just twenty years old she became the first female elected councillor in Africa, and later the mayor of Freetown. But following independence, she would find herself in exile in London. Matthew Parris is joined in the studio by Chibundu and Constance's grandson, Dennis Cummings-John, to discuss prejudice, class and colonialism, through the inspirational story of a woman ahead of her time. Produced in Bristol by Polly Weston

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