Chief Mrs. Folake Solanke is a woman of many firsts.
In 1981, she was appointed as Nigeria’s first female Senior Advocate and the first Nigerian female lawyer to wear the silk gown as Senior Counsel.
The title Senior Advocate of Nigeria, or “SAN,” was first bestowed upon her on April 3, 1975.
It is a title that can be conferred upon Nigerian legal practitioners who have been practicing for at least ten years and have distinguished themselves in the legal profession.
In 1972, Solanke was appointed the first Commissioner of Western State. That same year, she was made the Chairman of the Western Nigeria Television Broadcasting Corporation (WNTBC).
She was the 42nd and first African International President of Zonta International. Zonta International is a global service organization dedicated to the advancement of women’s rights.
Following her appointment as Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1981, the late Olubuse II, the 50th Ooni of Ife, conferred the traditional title of “Yeyemofin of Ife” upon Solanke.
She founded her own law firm, “Alabukun Chambers,” in 1996, propelling her already successful legal career to new heights.
Solanke was born on March 29, 1932, in Abeokuta, Ogun State’s capital in southwestern Nigeria, into the family of late Pa. J.S Odulate.
In recognition of her professional excellence and significant contribution to the advancement of women in the legal profession, Solanke received the International Bar Association’s Outstanding International Woman Lawyer Award in 2012, at the Association’s 5th World Women Lawyers’ Conference in London.
On January 17, 2015, The Sun Newspaper presented Solanke with a Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos.