22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, who got the African spiderman nickname after he saved a child hanging off a balcony by scaling a Paris apartment block with his bare hands, has become a French citizen, according to a government decree.
The African spiderman who became a French Citizen and got a job in the fire service after the daring rescue in May, had been in France illegally. He was however catapulted to global fame by the extraordinary feat captured in footage, seen by millions on social media.
“This act of great bravery exemplifies the values which help unite our national community, such as courage, selflessness, altruism and taking care of the most vulnerable,” said the official document published Wednesday.
AFP reported that the African spider arrived in France in September 2017 after travelling the perilous Mediterranean migrant route, and found a job in the construction industry despite not having the right to work.
Recall that after the video in which the former construction worker was spotted jumping from one floor to the next, hauling himself up with impressive athleticism towards the four-year-old boy dangling above went viral, he was offered a place in Mali’s military by the country’s President, an offer he rejected.
French President Emmanuel Macron personally thanked him, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be offered a role in the fire service. Speaking to French TV station RMC, the boy’s grandmother described how she felt seeing the video of her grandson hanging off the balcony.
“My God, I was very shocked. My grandson, my grandson, save him!” she said.
“Thankfully he [Mr Gassama] knew how to climb, because there were a lot of people below but he didn’t just fold his arms. He raced up to the fourth floor. That was truly incredible. He was very brave,” she said.
He was also received a humanitarian award alongside Anthony Borges, James Shaw Jr., Justin Blackman, Naomi Wadler, and Shaun King at the 2018 BET Awards.