Ladipo Solanke

Politician, Deceased Person

1886 – 1958


Who was Ladipo Solanke?

Ladipo Solanke was a political activist who campaigned on West African issues.

Born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, as Oladipo Felix Solanke, he studied at the Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone before moving to study law at University College, London in 1922.

In Britain, Solanke joined the Union of Students of African Descent. In 1924, he wrote to West Africa to complain about an article in the Evening News which had claimed that cannibalism and black magic had been common in Nigeria until recent years. His protest received the support of Amy Ashwood Garvey, who became a close friend, while Solanke began studying British papers for other derogatory reports.

Finding himself living in poverty, Solanke began teaching Yoruba and annoyed at the lack of interest in traditional Nigerian culture among other Nigerian students in London. In June 1924, he became the first person to broadcast on the radio in Yoruba. The following month, with Garvey's encouragement, Solanke and twelve other students founded the Nigeria Progress Union to promote the welfare of Nigerian students.

In 1925, Solanke and Herbert Bankole-Bright founded the West African Students' Union as a social, cultural and political focus for West African students in Britain. He became the organisation's Secretary-General and the main contributor to its journal, Wasu. In 1926, he recorded music in Yoruba for Zonophone, and in 1927, he published United West Africa at the Bar of the Family of Nations, calling for Africans to enjoy universal suffrage.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

  • Nigeria
  • University College London
  • Fourah Bay College
Sep 2, 1958

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Ladipo Solanke." STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Jan. 2023. <>.

Discuss this Ladipo Solanke biography with the community: