Ladi Kwali Historical Diary : Woman Appearing At The Back Of Twenty Naira Note (Nigerian currency)

Ladi Dosei Kwali, the first Nigerian woman to be on a naira note.


Ladi Kwali was born in the village of Kwali (Gwari) in the region of northern Nigeria.

Gwari is an ethnic group in the present Niger state, near the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja).

By culture and tradition, women from this ethnic group are known for body decorations and tattoo.


Ladi Kwali was an exceptional and excellent potter.

Ladi Kwali’s Lifetime

During Ladi’s lifetime, she was practicing pottery craft in Kwali village.

She was known for making beautiful potteries.

Ladi Dosei lived in Kwali village where she caught the attention of a white man who loved her work.

And the white man helped her to showcase the art around the world.

Ladi Kwali’s Popularity

She was later invited to the United Kingdom, despite her informal education.

However, the invitation was to teach her artwork to students as a tutor and external lecturer.


In 1962, Ladi Kwali was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).

She was awarded an honorary doctoral from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1977.

The Nigerian Government invested on her with the insignia of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (NNOM); the highest national honor for academic achievement in 1980.

Also, In the year 1981, she received the national honor of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

Ladi Kwali’s Death

She died at the age of 59 on August 12, 1984.

Ladi Kwali was remembered for her great work and her picture appears at the back of Nigerian’s currency which is Twenty (20) naira note.



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