Nigerians in Diaspora have continued to make the nation proud. The West African nation has an estimated Diaspora population ranging between 5 to 15 million people, with countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa having the largest population of Nigerians living abroad. In every field of life, whether politics, sports, entertainment, or literature, Nigerians always stand out.
On Saturday, July 27, 2019, new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch as Junior Minister for Children and Families. In a bid to reshuffle the British government, the Conservative politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Saffron Walden (a position she has held since 2017 after replacing Nadhim Zahawi) was appointed alongside others to move the European Kingdom forward. Her new office is charged with responsibilities such as early years policy, inclusive of inspection and regulation, 30 hours free childcare offer, special educational needs especially high needs funding, pupils’ safety in schools, and disadvantaged pupils.
Olukemi’s appointment is believed to be heavily linked with her support for Brexit. Prime Minister Boris’ appointments since assuming office have been greatly influenced by the Brexit factor. Back in 2017, during her maiden speech after replacing Zahawi as Minister of Parliament, she expressed support towards the economic plan and described it as “the greatest ever vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom.”
The African woman expressed delight at her appointment in a tweet posted on Monday, July 29, 2019:
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 @Steve ReedMP who no doubt will be keeping me on my toes!Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch
Born, Olukemi Olufunto Adegoke in January, 1980 at Wimbledon, London, she is Yoruba descent. After spending her childhood years in the United States and Lagos, Western Nigeria, she relocated to the United Kingdom at the age of 16. She would go on to study Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Sussex, work as a software analyst at Logica after graduation, later as a systems analyst at RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland Group), prior working as an associate director at Coutts, and her former role as director of The Spector magazine.
At the age of 25, Badenoch officially joined the British Conservative Party in the year 2005. With her first election as MP of Saffron Walden on June 8, 2017, she made history as the first female to occupy that position. Happily married to Hamish Badenoch (also a Conservative) with a son and a daughter, Olukemi did not have it all rosy at the beginning as she once narrated her poverty ordeals and having to do her homework with the use of candle light. Badenoch’s achievements are worthy of emulation for Nigerians home and abroad.
Featured Image Source: Leadership Newspaper
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