‘I hope to see you all in a better world’: Magid says goodbye to Sheffield Council

Magid Magid gave an emotional farewell speech to fellow councillors as he stepped down from Sheffield City Council and completed his term as Lord Mayor.

By Molly Williams
Thursday, 16 May, 2019, 12:02

Speaking to The Star on his last day he said: “I feel privileged and positive, I don’t feel like I’ll miss it but I’m definitely grateful to have had this opportunity and I feel really proud, it’s probably the first time I’ve said that.

“It’s come with a fair amount of challenges but it’s been a blast.

“I hope that whether it be Tony or future mayors that people see this role as so much more than just cutting ribbons and going to fetes. It can be whatever you want it to be. A lot of things was trial and error but it’s just been amazing. Every Lord Mayor bring their own qualities and I don’t expect Tony to be squatting on tables or anything but make something of it.

“I’d like to think that because of the exposure I’ve given the role that people will hold future Lord Mayors more to account and expect more.

“I’ve never had a career plan, I’d be lying if I ever thought that I would be the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. But whatever I go on to next it will be something worthwhile where I feel like I’m contributing.

“One of the hardest challenges had been trying to be myself in an environment that is not designed for people like me. I doubt the people that built the parlour ever thought a black, Muslim, refugee would ever be opening his fast in the Lord Mayor’s parlour and it’s just amazing.”

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The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid. Picture: Chris Etchells

In his speech, addressing a full council camber, Magid said: “I absolutely love this city, how could I not? Some of the best folk in life live here, many have treated me like their son, grandson or brother. This should be the mission of Sheffield City Council – to turn love into policy and to make the whole world fall in love with Sheffield. It’s a very big task but we can and we shall…

“The past few years as councillor and Lord Mayor has taught me that there is always hope, even in the most obscure of places. It has also taught me three valuable lessons which I want to share with you: courage is contagious. Don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have… Cake is a coping mechanism. We all need a coping mechanism to see the hope and to stop it from going out…Compassion must be at the heart of everything we do… Compassion is the ultimate manifestation of strength.

“Let’s make a promise to not degenerate but to inspire, rather than bemoan the present, paint a picture of what can be. Set aside hatred and dispel fear and rise above the coldness and dare to sing a different song. Don’t be afraid to be different because if you are trying to be everyone’s cup of tea you may as well be a mug.

“Yes, my story is inspiring, but what does it inspire you to do? I leave you with that and hope to meet you all in a better world.”

Lord Mayor Tony Downing has now taken on the role and is the 123rd to have done so.