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Friday, 7 April 2017

Nigeria's First Female Major General, Aderonke Kale; Her Inspiring Story

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There are women in all the arms of the gallant Nigerian Armed Forces and today, we are taking a look at the first Nigerian woman to ever become a Major-General (two-star general) in the Army and in any of the three wings of the Nigerian Armed Forces (including the Navy and Air Force).

Her record remains unbroken till date in the Nigerian Army but has been equalled by Rear Admiral Itunu Hotonu of the Nigerian Navy.


Major-General Ronke Kale (rtd) trained as medical practitioner before she decided to enlist in the Nigerian Army as an officer. It is quite interesting to know that she did so when even fewer women were donning the uniform of the military (it was not even until November 2011 that the first female hostel in the Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, Kaduna was commissioned, for how many female students? 20). And as for the curious medical professionals, Major-General Kale’s area of specialty is psychiatry. She was inspired to join psychiatry by the late medical giant, Professor Thomas Adeoye Lambo. Africa’s first professor of psychiatry.
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As a colonel and medical commandant (Commanding Officer) in the Nigerian Army, she attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS SEC12), Kuru, Plateau State in the year 1990 (she was of the same set with retired Lt. Gen. Victor Samuel Leonard Malu who was to later become the Chief of Army Staff). Upon graduation from Kuru (she received her graduation certificate in 1990 as a colonel from General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, who was the military president), she returned to the Military Hospital, Benin, Edo State and resumed duties as the Commanding Officer. While in the army, she was a close associate of IBB’s chief of intelligence, Colonel Halilu Akilu.

From there, she was later moved to Lagos State where she served as the Deputy Commandant of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps , Ojo where she was later promoted to the rank of a Brigadier General, thus becoming the first woman in Nigeria to become a one-star general (but please note that the first woman to be commissioned an officer in the Nigerian Army is Risquat Finni, who later retired as a Lieutenant Colonel).

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