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Thread: Russia elects first black official, Jean Gregoire Sagbo

  1. #1

    Default Russia elects first black official, Jean Gregoire Sagbo

    WHEN Jean Gregoire Sagbo first came to Russia, people used to point at him in the street and call him a monkey.

    Now, more than two decades after making the country his home, he has become Russia's first black person to be elected to office.



    Russia has seen a sharp rise in violent neo-Nazi groups and has the highest rate of racially motivated crimes in the world.

    "I'm very aware of the responsibility I'm carrying," Mr Sagbo said. "It's wonderful that people have seen beyond my skin colour and placed their trust in me."

    A communist idealist, Mr Sagbo first came to Moscow as an economics student in 1982. Officially, foreigners were welcomed as "dear socialist brothers" by the Soviet state. In practice, ordinary Russians gawked at them as if they were animals in a zoo.


    When he went to buy food at a local market, a trader overcharged him by 100 times for a sack of potatoes: "I had used up one-tenth of my yearly student allowance to buy potatoes. Moscow was like a different planet for me."

    Sagbo fell in love with Svetlana, a fellow student. She was expelled from the Komsomol, the communist youth organisation, when she resisted pressure from the authorities to stop seeing him.

    When Svetlana broke the news that she was pregnant, her mother cried for months, said Mr Sagbo, who was ordered by her father to stop seeing her. They stayed together and had Maxim, now 26. Serge, their second child, is 16.

    In 1986, Mr Sagbo returned to Benin with his Russian family. But having openly opposed the government, he was arrested, tortured and jailed. After a year in prison, he escaped and fled the country, eventually moving back to Russia and settling in the town of Novozavidovo.

    He became known by his neighbours as a man with a strong civic sense, even spending his own money on street improvements. Last month, the town elected Mr Sagbo as one of 10 councillors. He plans to tackle corruption, clean up a polluted lake and deliver heating to dilapidated homes.

    But he still avoids using commuter trains and the metro when visiting Moscow. Since 2004, 427 people have been murdered and 2600 savagely beaten in racially motivated crimes in Russia.

    In the most shocking murder, neo-Nazis posted a video on the internet in which they severed the head of a dark-skinned migrant worker with a knife.

    The Sunday Times

  2. #2

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    Way to go !
    He became known by his neighbours as a man with a strong civic sense, even spending his own money on street improvements. Last month, the town elected Mr Sagbo as one of 10 councillors. He plans to tackle corruption, clean up a polluted lake and deliver heating to dilapidated homes.

  3. #3

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    wow good stuff mr sagbo

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    All the best to the African brother.His vision is laudable,i pray the skin-heads stay clear off of him to enable him do his job. Big ups to the brother.

    How i wish we had the likes of him to rid the US of those saggy pants wearing numbnuts.haha
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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