Pierre Kompany came to Belgium as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo — his son Vincent is a professional footballer in the Manchester City Football Club and now he is the first Black mayor in Belgium’s history.
Kompany, was elected mayor of Ganshoren, a Brussels borough of about 25,000 people on Sunday, Oct. 14.
The newly minted mayor ran a campaign that avoided identity and racial politics, but the local election is being celebrated as a moment of racial progress in Belgium anyway, Quartz Africa reported.
Kompany, an engineer by trade entered the political arena in 2006 when he was elected as a councilor, and in 2014 he won a seat in Brussels Regional Parliament.
According to reports, Kompany resists titles like the “Obama of Brussels” and race politics, running an independent campaign that focused on issues like childcare, elderly assistance and improved soccer fields.
Kompany’s sons Vincent and Francois (who plays soccer locally) wished their dad congratulations via Instagram not shying away from the obvious.
”History! We are so proud of you dad. Came over from the DR Congo, as a refugee, in 1975. Now gained the trust of your local community becoming the first ever black elected mayor in Belgium! It was long over due but it’s progress. Massive congrats,” Vincent wrote on his social media account.
No stranger to calling out a lack of diversity in Brussels, the captain of Manchester City, Vincent tweeted a critique of the Belgium Parliament right before his dad was elected.
Quand même très peu de multiculturalité dans notre chère gouvernement. Cela reflète aussi une diversité inexistante à tout les niveaux du pouvoir en Belgique. Conseils d’administrations de grosses entreprises et groupes médiatiques, politique.. Merci le foot et vive la musique! pic.twitter.com/uTgySEOBpU
— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) October 13, 2018
“I’m especially proud, and so is the whole Congolese community, that a black man was directly elected by Belgians in a city like Ganshoren, which has maybe 100 people of Congolese origin,” local historian Mathieu Zana Etambala, told the New York Times.
Etambala continued that this “marks the undeniable presence of the Congolese here in Belgium,”
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Sarafina Wright is a political correspondent for EBONY.com. Previously she served as the editor of the WI Bridge and staff writer at the Washington Informer in Washington, DC, covering business, education, health and politics. She attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. Sarafina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.