Yemi Adenuga has become the first black female and migrant to be elected to Meath County Council in Ireland. The popular, Nigerian-born ‘Gogglebox’ star, campaigned as part of the Fine Gael party.
Speaking after the election results, Adenuga said: “I’m told there’s never been a black female councilor in Ireland. It’s awesome and an opening to other people who are interested in contributing. I’m delighted to be declared the first migrant councilor in Meath and I’m really looking forward to working with the council on issues that affect the people in the town and county.2
“This is a victory not just for me but for all women and ethnic minorities,” she added.
Adenuga left Nigeria as a celebrated television presenter nearly two decades ago for Ireland in 2000 and settled in Navan in 2004. There, she became a fan-favorite for her appearances on the Virgin Media One television program ‘Gogglebox’ over the past four years.
“Gogglebox most certainly helped,” Adenuga said. “I have also been involved in my community in Navan, a number of the women and the parents would know me.”
In 2012, Adenuga founded ‘Sheroes,’ which is described as “a women development and support organisation with a mission to build women and youth to become positive change agents through changing orientation, to build positive mindset, recognizing their efforts, celebrating their successes, empowering them to build sustainable businesses in line with the UN sustainable development goal 2030, and encouraging them to be supportive of one another.”
Adenuga also sits on the board for Cultúr, a community organization that works with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees promoting equal rights & opportunities to develop an intercultural County Meath.
Adenuga said: “I believe that so many people in this nation who are of diverse backgrounds have so much they can bring and so much they can offer and so much they want to contribute to the economy.”
She added that while canvassing, “98 percent of the time, it was very warm, people were very welcoming, they had very encouraging words for me. I would never have thought of politics in times past but I’m doing a lot of work for the community already and when Fine Gael approached me, I thought why not – it would give me a bigger platform for the community.”