On January 18, 2024, a landmark moment in history was achieved as Abigail Marshal Katung took office as the first African to be appointed as the Lord Mayor of Leeds. Following in the footsteps of Eileen Taylor, who made history as the first black person in this role, Katung’s appointment marks a significant milestone in representing and including diverse cultures and backgrounds in civic leadership.
Her ascension to this prestigious position not only highlights the evolving landscape of political leadership in Leeds but also serves as an inspiring beacon of progress for African communities within and beyond the city.
In 2019, Abigail Marshall-Katung embarked on a notable journey in British politics, starting as a Leeds City councillor for the Little London and Woodhouse Ward. Since then, she has carved out an impressive trajectory in her career. Here’s a glimpse into the remarkable achievements and fascinating aspects of her journey:
Fun facts you should know about Katung
1. Abigail Marshall-Katung is married to Sunday Marshall Katung, a Nigerian senator for the Southern Kaduna District, making them both First Lady and First Lord figures in their respective countries.
2. Abigail is the first elected councillor from Africa to hold the Lord Mayor position in Leeds and only the second Black person after Eileen Taylor.
3. Mrs. Marshall-Katung was born in Nigeria, moved to the UK for education and studied at the University of Leeds.
4. In 2008, she founded the David Oluwale Memorial Association (DOMA) in remembrance of David Oluwale, a Nigerian migrant to the UK who landed in Leeds in 1949 but died in the River Aire in 1969, with two British police officers held accountable.
5. She is the mother of two twin boys whom she has chosen to raise in the UK.
6. She co-chaired Leeds City Council’s “Food Champion” initiative, highlighting the importance of healthy eating and supporting local food producers.
7. Beyond politics, Abigail is a governor at Leeds City College, demonstrating her commitment to education and supporting the next generation.
8. She previously led the BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) network in Leeds City Council, fighting for equal opportunities and representation for every citizen.
9. Abigail received the prestigious Jordan Sinnott Memorial Award for her outstanding contributions to the community, proving her dedication goes above and beyond.
10. She contested twice for the Little London and Woodhouse elections in 2019 and 2023, respectively, and won.