Change maker.... Cllr Yemi Adenuga made history when elected to Meath Co Council in the 2019 local elections.

Navan cllr hailed as a woman who ‘changed the world’

Cllr Yemi Adenuga has been hailed as one of “133 women who change the world 2023” by the global diversity and inclusion group

The Navan-based Meath county councillor is included in a list of inspiring women that includes environmentalist Greta Thunberg, Esraa Majd of MSF - Doctors Without Borders and Mavis Nonkosinathi Ramazani of the Irish Refugee Council.

The list recognises and rewards inspiring women leaders around the word who challenge the status quo and change the world to a better place with their impact globally.

According to Diversein the 133 are “women who challenged the status quo and had a positive impact on others' lives, who always went to great lengths to do their best.”

Cllr Adenuga said she was surprised and delighted by the recognition.

"It is really great to be recognised for the work I have done," she said.

The Fine Gael councillor said she was delighted to be included alongside the other awesome changemakers, "some of whom I have had the privilege of working with and others who I look forward to connecting with."

"This is an encouragement and also a call to action to keep building people and making a positive impact. I am humbled," she said.

Cllr Adenuga has launched several community programmes, including the Sheroes Global Initiative to support women and youth; The Boys-to-Men project aimed at raising boys to be good men; the Meath Stand Against Racism education campaign and the Yemi Adenuga Mentorship and Leadership Program (YAMAL), to mentor women and youth. She also serves on the board of Cultúr, a community organisation that supports migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

She began the Sheroes program in Ireland in 2012, and launched the programme in Nigeria in 2018, after conducting projects in the country for two years.

Cllr Adenuga was born in Nigeria and has immersed herself in Irish life since she arrived here in 2000.

She started the Meath Stand Against Racism education campaign, and with her family has starred on the television show Gogglebox Ireland.

In May 2019, she became the first elected black female public representative in Ireland when she was elected to the Meath Co Council for the Navan area.

In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd in the US, Meath Co Council approved her motion to fund an educational initiative and become the first county in Ireland to openly take action against racism. She has also advocated for hate crimes legislation in Ireland that includes penalties for online harassment and helped organise an online rally against racism.

Cllr Adenuga and her husband Deji have four children.

Yemi worked as a radio and television broadcaster in Nigeria for ten years before moving to Ireland in 2000.

Cllr Adenuga continued her education when she came to Ireland, completing a Diploma in Business Studies in 2008, a Bachelors of Business Studies in 2010, and a post-graduate certificate in 2016 from UCD and she completed her MBA at Liverpool John Moores University.