Joy Nwanyelimaka Nsolo

Joy Nwanyelimaka Nsolo attended the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology, Zaria (now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) from where she proceeded to the University of Birmingham and qualified as an architect in 1962. She was an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (ARIBA). She was the first female architect in Nigeria, indeed the first in West Africa. On her return to Nigeria, she became a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. She joined the Mid Western Nigeria civil service and rose through the ranks to become Chief Architect and, later, Permanent Secretary. Among her built works are: the Secretariat Building in Benin City and the State High Court in Benin which became the model for State High Court complexes in Nigeria. In 1981, Mrs. Joy Nsolo was decorated with the national honor of Member of the Federal Republic MFR by President Shehu Shagari. She retired in 1986 and died in 1988. According to Official Gazette records published on 9th July 1970 by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, she is the third woman to be registered as an architect in Nigeria.

-Ekaete Bassey-Fujah, additional gazette records by Baba Oladeji

March 2023