Vincent Company will be President of Belgium
A former refugee is making history in Belgium
Pierre Kompany is the father of the football star Vincent Kompany. Now he becomes the first black mayor in Belgian history.
Vincent Kompany is a famous footballer. He is captain of World Cup third Belgium and defender of Manchester City. The international attention now belongs to his father Pierre. The native of the Congolese made Belgian history at the weekend: He was the first black man to win a mayoral election. In the municipality of Ganshoren at the gates of the metropolis of Brussels, the Christian Democrat ran as the top candidate of a party alliance. At the age of 71, Pierre Kompany became mayor. His eventful life tells the story of a climber and integration role model.
Kompany was born in the Congolese city of Bukavu on the border with Rwanda. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was still a Belgian colony at the time. In 1960 the Central African state gained its independence. Pierre Kompany studied engineering. He later came into conflict with the regime of the despot Mobutu Sese Seko, who had renamed the country Zaire. Kompany was held in a military camp for over 13 months. In 1975, after his release, he left his home country. And he came to Europe as a political refugee - to Belgium, where numerous other Congolese also moved. Seven years later Kompany obtained Belgian citizenship.
Taxi driver, engineer, lecturer, politician
In Brussels, the engineering graduate first had to make ends meet as a taxi driver. Kompany married a Belgian. The later divorced marriage had three children: Vincent, François and Christel. The Kompanys are a football-loving family. Vincent made a career at ManCity, François is also a professional footballer, but in Belgium, and Christel was president of a football club in Brussels. Apparently the father also played football quite well. In his old homeland, young Pierre stormed for TP Mazembe, one of the three best Congolese teams at the time.
In his new home in Belgium, Kompany worked as an engineer in industrial companies and as a professor at an institute of arts and professions. At an advanced age he became more and more involved in politics, especially in environmental and integration policy. One of his slogans was: "For real values without color". He has been a member of the Brussels-Capital Region Parliament since 2014.
In the municipality of Ganshoren, which has almost 25,000 inhabitants, Kompany was a local councilor before he was elected to the highest office. As the new mayor, he wants to promote housing construction, especially for senior citizens and young people. Kompany wishes for a peaceful coexistence between the generations. He sees himself as the mayor of all population groups.
After the historic election for Belgium, the first black mayor is a sought-after interviewee. Even the "New York Times" is said to have contacted him. The hype about his person is probably also due to the fame of his soccer star son Vincent. Pierre Kompany values some clarifications: "Many people who voted for me told me that they voted for me and not for Vincent." And he also let it be known: "I am a sociable person who can approach a wide variety of people without any problems." Although he is now mayor of Ganshoren, he will remain the same person.
His two sons were among the first to congratulate him after the mayoral election. Vincent and François Kompany recorded a video and published it on the Instagram platform: “It's historical. We are so proud of you, Papa », it says in the congratulatory message. «Came in 1975 as a refugee from the Congo. Win the trust of your community and become the first black mayor in Belgium. " Kompany senior takes up the office of mayor in Ganshoren in December.
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