Nigeria’s first female Major-General dies at 84

The President of the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI), E. O. Okafor, confirmed the death of Nigeria’s first female Major-General, Aderonke Kale (Rtd), at the age of 84.

Major-General Aderonke Kale’s impressive legacy was acknowledged by E. O. Okafor, who expressed the nation’s enduring gratitude for her groundbreaking   contributions.

The statement released by AANI paid tribute to her as a trailblazer in both medical and military spheres.

AANI and indeed the nation will continue to remember the remarkable legacy of the iconic Major General Aderonke Kale (rtd) mni, who had been a trailblazer in Nigeria’s medical and military history. May her gentle soul continue to rest in peace, Amen.”

Kale was trained as a medical doctor at University College, which later became the University of Ibadan, and specialised in psychiatry at the University of London.

She was inspired to pursue psychiatry by Thomas Adeoye Lambo, Africa’s first professor of psychiatry.  Born on 31 July 1939, Kale worked briefly in Britain and returned to Nigeria in 1971.

She rose through the ranks in the army, becoming a colonel and deputy commander of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps by 1990.

Her role was initially as chief psychiatrist to the army. Later, she became Director of the Nigerian Medical Corps and was its Chief Medical Officer until 1996.

She was promoted to Major-General in 1994 and retired from the army in 1997. Aderonke was married to Oladele Kale, a preventive and social medicine professor, and was a mother of five sons, including Yemi Kale, former Statistician-General of Nigeria.