Thursday May 17, 2018
By Andy Done-Johnson
From a childhood in war-torn Somalia to becoming Sheffield’s first citizen, Councillor Magid Magid was typically all smiles as he was sworn in as Lord Mayor.
The council chamber at Sheffield Town Hall was packed to the rafters during the annual mayor-making ceremony – this year showing all the diversity and all the welcome our city is famed for.
And this year, Sheffield has welcomed its youngest ever Lord Mayor, and its first Green to hold the post.
He is also the first Lord Mayor to hold a degree in marine biology, the mayor-making service was told, and the first Lord Mayor to have spent a year trekking in the Amazon.
Another first, presumably, is that Magid is the first Lord Mayor to swear during his inaugural speech, thanking his mother “for putting up with all the s*** he’d caused her over the years”.
Humour was thick in the air – the Imperial March from Star Wars was played as invited guests and elected members took their seats, followed by the Superman theme tune.
Magid, 28, arrived in Sheffield aged five with his mother, who, he said, “left Somalia with nothing but hope and courage’.
Settling in Burngreave, he studied at Fir Vale School and later attended The University of Hull, where he became involved in activism and was elected as the students’ union president, despite not being an ardent political type.
Magid was elected as a councillor for Broomhill and Sharrow Vale two years ago, and has spent 12 months as deputy lord mayor – the second-in-command always graduates to the proper job.
“I’m not here to change the world,” he said. “But from any one of the people I meet through my year in office, whether they are volunteers, students, artists or entrepreneurs, they may be the one who does change the world for the better, and if I can be any part in starting that, then that will be a job well done.”
Magid referenced Coun Tony Damms, 40 at the time, who was the youngest of Magid’s 121 predecessors, saying that he was Lord Mayor the year he was born.
He also invited a Sheffield couple who “took him in” when he was on the run, taking part in reality TV show The Hunted.
Proposing Magid as Sheffield’s next Lord Mayor, Councillor Alison Teal said: “There is nothing faint-hearted about Magid.”
Outgoing Lord Mayor Councillor Ann Murphy was also thanked her her year in office and Councillor Tony Downing was appointed Deputy Lord Mayor.
Magid also announced his three charities for the year – mental health organisation Flourish, Sheffield Women’s Counselling & Therapy Services and the Unity Gym Project.