Nigerian Makes History, Becomes First African To Be Appointed Lord Mayor of Leeds

A Nigerian, Abigail Marshall Katung, has emerged as the first African Lord Mayor of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

With her appointment, she becomes the city’s 13oth Lord mayor and the first person of African descent to hold the position.

A statement on the council website confirmed the appointment following the Leeds City Council’s annual general meeting on Thursday night.

The statement read, “Taking over the role from Al Garthwaite, Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung becomes the city’s 130th Lord Mayor and the first person of African descent to hold the position.

“Councillor Marshall Katung will be supported throughout her tenure as Lord Mayor by her husband, Nigerian Senator and Lord Mayor Consort, Senator Sunday Marshall Katung.”

Speaking about the historic feat, Mrs Katung said her new position has become a glittering case of contribution for foreign students in the UK celebrated on the African continent.

“It was not just the city where I lived, studied, and worked, it’s where I chose to raise my children and become a public servant,” she said.

“My appointment as lord mayor has been widely celebrated in the city’s African community and is a shining example of the enormous contribution international students make to UK society.

“As lord mayor of Leeds, I am committed to working tirelessly to ensure voices are heard from all areas of the city and every triumph is recognised and celebrated.”

Born December 7, 1975, in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria, Katung arrived in the UK to study at the University of Leeds as a Politics and International Studies Department postgraduate student in 2000.

In May 2019 following the Leeds City Council elections, Katung won the polls to emerge as the Little London and Woodhouse Ward representative. She became the governor of Leeds City College in January 2024. In the same month, she was also elected as the next Lord Mayor of Leeds under the Labour and Co-operative Party, succeeding Al Garthwaite.

Her new position as the Lord Mayor of Leeds has made her the first elected councilor from Africa and the second person after Eileen Taylor to hold the council position.

She is married to Senator Sunday Marshall Katung, representing Kaduna South Senatorial District, and they are blessed with twin sons.

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