Belgium's First Black Mayor Is a Congolese Immigrant
Pierre Kompany, who came to Belgium from the DRC as a refugee in 1975, was elected mayor of a Brussels borough this week.
Pierre Kompany, a Congolese immigrant and father of professional football players Vincent and Francois Kompany, has been elected mayor of the Ganshoren borough in Brussels, BBC reports.
This is a history-making moment, as this victory makes Kompany Belgium's first black mayor.
Kompany came to Belgium from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1975 as a refugee and first became involved in politics in 2006 as a councillor; then as Brussels regional parliamentarian in 2014.
For him, this feat shows Belgium has taken more steps to integrate a community of people who've been systematically oppressed, exploited and nearly wiped out, says The New York Times. Belgium was one of the harshest colonial powers that especially wreaked havoc in the Congo.
"My success, my election, shows the direction of the march of history, which is towards a more peaceful history," Kompany continues. "I think one has to regard this as a victory for humanity as a whole."
Kompany's sons took to Instagram to congratulate him. "It was long overdue, but it's progress," they say.
Ganshoren is a predominantly white community that Kompany has served as city councillor for 12 years. He ran his election promising locals to help the elderly, expand child care accessibility and improve soccer fields.