Mrs Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch, a 39-year-old Nigerian-British has been appointed a cabinet member by British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Born to parents of Nigerian origin in Wimbledon, London, Mrs Badenoch is a British Conservative politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden.
She is the first woman elected to represent Saffron Walden constituency after the retirement of former deputy speaker, Alan Haselhurst, in 2017.
In a post on Twitter about her appointment, she wrote: Im humbled to have been appointed a junior minister at the DfE. A huge privilege to be able to serve and make a positive difference on a number of issues close to my heart. I look forward to working with the ministerial team and everyone at @educationgovuk (1/3)
“Thank you for all good wishes and kind messages of support received. I also look forward to working not just with @Conservatives colleagues but cross-party and grateful for the warm welcome from @TracyBrabin and @SteveReedMP who no doubt will be keeping me on my toes! (2/3)”
The mother of two spent her childhood in Lagos, Nigeria, the United States and had moved to the United Kingdom when she was 16.
Staying in Lagos exposed her to experiences of poverty in Nigeria as she used to do her homework using candlelight at times.
She studied Computer Systems Engineering at Sussex University and also holds a degree in Law; and has worked as a system analyst, an associate director at Coutts and later as a director at The Spectator magazine.
Meanwhile, many Nigerians have continued to eulogize her appointment, stating that it shows the inherent leadership qualities Nigerians exude anywhere they are across the globe.
Nigeria’s former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who congratulated Mrs. Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch on her appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, stated that, I have repeatedly said that Nigerians, especially her youth, are natural leaders, with advanced intellect and abilities,” adding that “I said this when I congratulated Kelechi (Kaycee) Madu on being made a minister in Canada and Mrs. Badenoch only corroborates my assertions.”
While also commending the British Prime Minister on the development, Atiku noted that Johnson’s “cabinet has a lot to teach the world. With an average age of 47, it is the UKs youngest-ever cabinet, and with over 25% minority representation, it is one of the worlds most diverse governments. It is also a gender-balanced administration, with 24% female representation.”