Monthly Archives: November 2018

Mary Ekpiken

First female African student at QUB

Born in Assang Eniong, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria, Mary Ekpiken arrived in Belfast in 1953. She came to study economics with a Nigerian government grant. She resided at Riddel Hall until she graduated in 1955.

After Queen’s, Mary returned to Africa to work for the Nigerian Civil Service. In 1965, she was Senior Labour Officer within the Employment Division of the Federal Ministry of Labour in Lagos.

She continued in the Ministry until she retired on 18 May 1984 as a director in the ministry. She was the first woman to reach such position in Nigeria and was awarded a Nigeria National Honour (OFR).

She passed away in 2010, leaving behind an adult son, Tunji Roberts, who is a media entrepreneur in the United State. Tunjo visited Belfast on his mother’s traces in November 2012, and saw the small dossier the QUB archives hold of her mother.