Kemi Badenoch: Only African Woman In Boris Johnson’s Cabinet
Born Olukemi Olufunto Adegoke in Wimbledon, London to Nigerian parents, Femi and Feyi Adegoke. The 39-year-old was recently in the news for being the only African woman appointed into the newly formed cabinet of new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In her childhood, the graduate of Computer Systems Engineering from the University of Sussex shuffled between United States (where her mother who is a professor of physiology lectured) and Lagos, Nigeria. At the age of 16, she relocated to the United Kingdom with her parents.
Adegoke ventured into politics at the age of 25 when she joined the Conservative Party and five years later, she contested the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency. Undeterred, in 2012, she stood for the Conservatives in the London Assembly election where she was placed fifth on the London-wide list.
In 2015, Badenoch was declared to fill the vacancy left behind by Victoria Borwick in the House of Commons. Badenoch went on to retain her seat in the Assembly in the 2016 election and was elected into the UK parliament. While at the parliament, she often spoke about her experiences of poverty in Nigeria and living without electricity or functioning water supply. She also narrated how she had to do her homework using candles. She supported Brexit in the 2016 EU membership referendum.
Speaking about her appointment, she said is humbled and considers it a huge privilege to be able to serve and make a positive difference on a number of issues.
Badenoch is married to Hamish Badenoch with two children. Hamish works for Deutsche Bank and was a Conservative councillor on the Merton London Borough Council. He was a board member of the Charlton Triangle Homes housing association until 2016 and was also previously a school governor at St Thomas the Apostle College in Southwark, and the Jubilee Primary School (both in London).