Chief Grace Atinuke OYELUDE
First Ever Miss Nigeria
…90 Years of Excellence
…90 Years of Beauty
…90 Years of Intelligence
The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission joins the family, friends and other well-wishers in celebrating the beauty queen and first ever Miss Nigeria, Chief Grace Atinuke Oyelude, as she officially joined the league of Nonagenarians on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
Chief Grace Atinuke Oyelude was crowned as the First ever Miss Nigeria in 1957
Born in Sabon Gari, Kano on November 16, 1931 to the family of Pa James Adeleye Oyelude and Late Mama Martha Datanu of Isanlu Local Government Area of Kogi State. The delectable combination of beauty and intelligence had her primary and secondary education between 1940 and 1952 in Kano. After her secondary education, she had a stint with the United African Company (UAC) of Kano in 1957.
While working in Kano, her younger brother, late William Oyelude who was a broadcaster in Lagos saw the advertisements for the maiden beauty pageant and entered her for the competition without her knowledge. At the age of 26, she emerged winner of the maiden edition of the Miss Nigeria pageant in 1957 at age 26. On the day of the event, she dressed up in the traditional iro and buba and she was the only one who was dressed in a native attire. She defeated 200 contestants to win prize money of 200 pounds, two weeks trip to England, a wardrobe change of four dresses and free hairstyling.
Prior to this she had applied for scholarship in England so she used part of the money to fly to London to start her training at Ashford school of Nursing before her scholarship was approved. She completed her training and became a state Registered Nurse (SRN) in 1961. Not satisfied with these achievements, she enrolled at the school of Midwifery, St. Thomas Hospital, London where she qualified as a state registered Midwife (NRM) in 1962.
While in the United Kingdom, Chief Oyelude practiced her Nursing profession in number of Hospitals, among them was Paddington General Hospital in London. Upon her return to Nigeria, she became a Nursing Sister at the General Hospital, Kaduna between 1964 and 1965, then Senior Nursing Sister in charge of the former Kaduna Nursing Home from 1965-1977.
At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1967, by virtue of a National assignment, she headed a Medical team from the then Northern Region, which prepared hospitals for receiving war casualties and treating them. In 1970, she joined the institute of Health, Ahmadu Bello University as a Senior Matron and then rose to the position of Director, Nursing Services of the ABU teaching Hospital, the position she held until her retirement in 1985.
In recognition of her professional qualifications, competence and public spiritedness, she was made an external examiner of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. Between 1980 and 1983, she was Chairman, Kwara State Health Management Board. She was honoured in the year 2001 in Gambia by the West African College of Nursing (WACH) as WACH’s Florence Nightingale of the 20th century.
She is the Iyaolu of Isanluland and Iyalode of Okunland. In 2015, she was honored by the organizers of the Miss Nigeria pageant with a brand new Peugeot 601 saloon car.
As a caregiver, many have benefitted immensely from her diligence and service to humanity.
We at DAWN Commission pray God to grant you good health, long life and abundant blessings as the years roll by.
Happy Birthday 90th Birthday, our Beauty Queen!