By Kunle Adedoyin
Victoria Obaze, a woman with Nigerian heritage, made history on Wednesday after she was sworn into office as the first black female civic mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
Obaze, from Imo State, who had earlier unsuccessfully contested three previous councillorship elections in 2010, 2014 and 2016, eventually succeeded in an election conducted on May 5, 2018, in Whitechapel ward.
She later became the council’s deputy speaker following her nomination by her councillor colleagues from where she took over the mantle as mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The newly sworn-in mayor had lived in Borough for over 30 years and over the years had dedicated her life to humanity with diligence. Her political experience started when she was elected as one of the board of directors to oversee the regeneration of her area, the Ocean Estate, in the 1980s.
The move motivated her to get into politics as she later opened a project named Healthy Life Style for Stepney Women, East London. The project was funded by local authority through Ocean African Caribbean Association which she and her late husband Chief Evangelist Charles Obaze, co-founded.
She also established Ocean Saturday School aimed at ensuring school attainment for children, as well as Ocean Football Club through which young boys were able to have residential football experiences with Chelsea football Club.
She is also a Secondary School governor in Tower Hamlets and a habitual visitor to the elderly and physically challenged in the community.
Obaze attended West London College and Metropolitan University where she studied business administration and community sector management at different times.
She also has certification in childcare which enabled her operate a registered charitable childcare centre in UK named Vicharles Play Centre.
Obaze’s inauguration on Wednesday is the latest in turn of events that have seen Nigerians emerge as mayors in their area councils of residence in the UK.
Ernest Ezeajughi and Kate Anorue, both from Anambra state, were recently sworn into office as mayors of London Borough of Brent and Enfield, respectively.