Nigeria’s first female Major-General, Aderonke Kale (Rtd), is dead.
Vox9ja learnt that Kale died in London, United Kingdom, at the age of 84 on Wednesday from an undisclosed ailment.
The demise was also confirmed by the president of the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI), in a statement, describing her passing as an “irreparable loss.”
Kale, a Nigerian army psychiatrist, was born on February 13, 1939, and became the first female major-general in the Nigerian Army.
She rose to command the Nigerian Army Medical Corps.
Kale trained as a medical doctor at University College, which later became the University of Ibadan. She specialized in psychiatry at the University of London.
Africa’s first professor of psychiatry, Thomas Adeoye Lambo, inspired Kale to pursue psychiatry.
She worked briefly in Britain and returned to Nigeria in 1971.
In 1972, Kale joined the Nigerian Army, a rare decision for women, particularly those at a high professional level.
She was a colonel and deputy commander of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps by 1990. She was later promoted to brigadier-general, becoming the first female general in West Africa.
Kale was promoted to major-general in 1994 and became the first Nigerian woman to achieve that rank.
She was also the first female major-general in West Africa.
Her role was initially as chief psychiatrist to the Army. Kale later became director of the entire Nigerian Medical Corps and was its Chief Medical Officer until 1996. This was the first time in the history of the Nigerian Army that a woman was responsible for the healthcare of all Nigerian soldiers at all levels in preparation for and during the war.
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She retired in 1997.
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