Magid Magid has become a global celebrity since being announced as Lord Mayor of Sheffield in May 2018. A Somalian refugee who arrived in Sheffield in 1996, Magid Magid is the first black, first Muslim and youngest Mayor of Sheffield. Appearances on international television have made him known around the world and this fame has got millions talking about Sheffield.
The mayor has been bold in his new position, having already banned Donald Trump from entering Sheffield and squatting on the bannister of the town hall stairs for his official mayor photo. These are controversial moves which divide the people of Sheffield, but Magid is not fussed about criticism.
Magid told Channel 4, “I can’t help but think people are always waiting for me to slip up or whatever but I’m always gonna get critics.” In an interview with The Guardian, he said “I’ve had a lot of stick, but I don’t care.” Magid says his rise in politics is down to being one of the people.
“The only reason we got so much attention – is because I decided to be myself; because – I know it sounds a bit cliché – I did things my way and did what I believe in.”
Magid Magid is responsible for setting up the UK suicide prevention charity, supported by over 100 organisations, which he names as his his proudest achievement on The Russell Howard Hour along with “making politics more accessible and engaging a wider audience”.
He went on to explain, “I use social media and think of creative ways to capture people’s imaginations and then feed them with some sort of political message, because one thing I have realised is that people’s attention spans are getting so short and there’s so much information out there.” Among these creative publicity stunts are wearing T-shirts with unapologetic political statements printed on them, such as “Donald Trump is a Wasteman” and “Immigrants Make Britain Great Again”. It’s clear that Magid Magid has a global outlook, with a view on peace and equality. He is a member of the Green Party- the only member of the party to ever be elected as mayor.
The Magid family moved fled Somalia and eventually settled in Sheffield with his sister and mother, who worked as a cleaner. Her son, Magid got involved in local gang culture in his teens, but later matured, studying aquatic zoology at the University of Hull. He got a job as a digital marketing consultant, before making the leap into politics by joining the Green party as a local councillor.
Since going viral on social media, Magid Magid seems to be enjoying the limelight. The new mayor is definitely making the most of his role, unashamedly telling the world he is driven around in a Jaguar by his personal chauffeur. That doesn’t stop people giving him praise for being a breath of fresh air in politics and in Sheffield. The position of mayor lasts for 12 months in Sheffield, so there is plenty more to come.