A VERYvery MODERN­mod­ern MAYORMayor!

He fled war-torn So­ma­lia aged 5 and lived in a refugee camp – now he’s a TV star and youngest First Cit­i­zen of Sh­effield

Daily Mail - - One Day To Go ... - By Claire Duf­fin

WITH his cam­ou­flage jacket and Dr Martens boots, this for­mer refugee turned re­al­ity TV star is not your typ­i­cal Lord Mayor.

But Magid Magid, 28, says he is de­ter­mined to bring the tra­di­tional role into the 21st Cen­tury af­ter be­com­ing the youngest per­son to take up the post in Sh­effield.

He is also the city’s first Green Party mem­ber to be Lord Mayor, and has al­ready ruf­fled some feath­ers by choos­ing the Su­per­man theme tune and The Im­pe­rial March from Star Wars to be played at his mayor-mak­ing cer­e­mony.

In his ac­cep­tance speech Mr Magid raised a few eye­brows by thank­ing his mother for ‘putting up with all the s*** he had caused her over the years’.

She worked as a cleaner to sup­port her chil­dren af­ter ‘leav­ing So­ma­lia with only courage, hope and de­ter­mi­na­tion’.

He posed for his in­au­gu­ral por­trait perched on the top of stairs at Sh­effield’s Vic­to­rian town hall, dressed in boots, a white blazer and multi-coloured tie.

His plans for the city in­clude in­tro­duc-

‘I don’t fit the stereo­type’

ing ma­gi­cians and mu­si­cians to coun­cil meet­ings to liven them up and ap­point­ing rap­per Otis Men­sah as poet lau­re­ate. He also wants to record a Christ­mas song and take part in a cage fight.

As the city’s First Cit­i­zen he will be tasked with greet­ing im­por­tant visi­tors. How­ever, he will not toast the Queen at these events be­cause he be­lieves Bri­tain should have an elected head of state.

But he hopes his ap­point­ment, and the fact that he is ‘a black, Mus­lim im­mi­grant’, shows that Sh­effield is ‘proud of do­ing things dif­fer­ently, and celebrating our dif­fer­ences’.

‘I’m go­ing to be in­no­va­tive, I’m not go­ing to be the nor­mal, stuffy Lord Mayor,’ he said.

He also aims to get into the Guin­ness World Records for the world’s long­est con­tin­u­ous hug next Valen­tine’s Day, and has writ­ten a Christ­mas song which he hopes to record with lo­cal mu­si­cians.

He said: ‘Peo­ple have said I’m dis­re­spect­ing tra­di­tion. It’s from a cer­tain type of per­son. The vast ma­jor­ity are happy and ex­cited that I don’t fit the nor­mal stereo­type.’

Born in Bu­rao, north­ern So­ma­lia, he fled the coun­try with his fam­ily as a child, spend­ing six months in a refugee camp in Ethiopia with his mother and sis­ter be­fore com­ing to Bri­tain and be­ing placed in Sh­effield aged five.

‘My mum was the one that strug­gled, she was the adult and had to do ev­ery­thing as a sin­gle par­ent,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t speak the lan­guage but I just played out­side like ev­ery­one else and picked it up, of­ten learn­ing the bad words first.

‘It was a case of me just in­te­grat­ing. I’m nat­u­rally very so­cial and in­quis­i­tive and found it no prob­lem mak­ing friends.’

He at­tended Fir Vale School in Sh­effield and ad­mits he was not a per­fect stu­dent. ‘I did get into a bit of mis­chief and a bit of trou­ble. When you’re a prod­uct of

your en­vi­ron­ment peo­ple do just get in­volved and you can be­come part of it. But I grew out of it quickly,’ he said. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, he ran a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing busi­ness be­fore get­ting in­volved in lo­cal pol­i­tics. He was elected as a coun­cil­lor for Broomhill and Shar­row Vale two years ago, spent 12 months as deputy lord mayor and was elected to the top job by coun­cil mem­bers.

His ap­pear­ance on Chan­nel 4’s re­al­ity TV show Hunted, in which con­tes­tants be­come fugi­tives and try to avoid 30 in­ves­ti­ga­tors, did not quite go to plan. He was cap­tured af­ter run­ning into a Sub­way sand­wich shop wear­ing a bright blue pon­cho and failed to win the £100,000 prize.

New home: Young Magid af­ter com­ing to Sh­effield

TV chal­lenge: Go­ing un­der­cover in Hunted

In of­fice: Sh­effield Mayor Magid Magid

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