Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Mayor of Piran

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Since October 2010...

the coastal town of Piran in Slovenia has claimed international fame...

because it has the first African mayor in the whole of Eastern Europe.

Peter was born and raised in Ghana.

Since he won the local elections in Piran...

it's been a constant stream of television crews and international delegations.

Peter's election has had a big impact. Especially among fellow Africans.

One day on my Facebook, I had about 600 messages from Ghanaians...

on one day only, you know, living in Europe and from Ghana as well.

It was fantastic. And everyone was saying:

We are proud of you. We are proud that one of our sons has made it in Europe.

I arrived in Yugoslavia in 1978.

I left Ghana because I was in danger of being arrested as a student leader.

I met my wife during my medical studies...

and we planned to go back to Ghana as soon as we finished our studies.

But then she became pregnant and we said: We'll wait for two years.

We'll get some experience here, then we'll go back to Ghana.

So I started working here in Piran, and I found out that people liked me.

And slowly but surely, my return to Ghana went further and further away.

Then I decided:

Just concentrate on my medical practice which had grown very large.

I have over 2000 patients registered.

But then, in 1994, some friends of mine...

who knew that I was very much interested in politics...

I had done politics in Ghana. They came to me and said:

Why don't you go into local politics here.

You are so well-known, people like you. You can make a political career here.

About 2.5 years ago, young members of the social democrats...

they approached me and said: Look here, the young people like you...

the old people like you and respect you.

Are you going to be our candidate for mayor?

And at first I said: Absolutely not.

No way that I'm going to be a candidate for mayor.

But then they told me: We don't even have to mention your name.

Every time we ask people 'who would you like to see to be your mayor'...

every time your name appears.

But we had to find out:

Is the public here prepared for an African mayor, you know?

And we did a lot of interviews and every time they said to us:

His background, you know, or his origin is of no interest to us.

Somehow over the years I have been working here...

I had crossed the colour barrier.

The rest is history. In October I was elected as the mayor of Piran.

Good afternoon. There are not too many of you.

This isn't the best time.

Today there is not much fish. -Horrible.

The whole month it's been like that. Nothing.

Okay, thank you. -Bye.

Africans who are in politics in Europe have a different attitude.

We're people who are much more open. We're people who are prepared to listen.

European politicians can learn from the African experience.

European politicians, they are too much prepared to just follow...

I would say, what is in fashion.

There's a big debate now in Europe about multi-culturalism:

What is it? You know? And so on.

As soon as one leader said 'it doesn't work'...

another leader at once followed and so on.

You know, that is fashion politics, that's not real politics.

Real politics is what you do for people.

I came here because I want to buy a hairdressing salon in Piran.

He is very open minded, accessible...

and you can come to his office whenever you want.

With the previous mayor you had to make an appointment...

and then wait for one year.

This mayor has a real relationship with the people. He is a good man.

I didn't intentionally abandon Africa. It was always: I'll go, but when?

And then there came a time when I realized that that when had gone by.

I do believe that I could make a successful story also in Africa.

Because of the political past of Africa and I said about, you know...

I mentioned that I'm very critical of the politicians in Africa, very critical.

I think that they have let their people down.

And I believe that if we had had better leadership...

that our future as Africans is in Africa.

And my message to every African:

Try and try again to make it work in Africa.

So what is the future of mayor Bossman?

I hope that I would invest in people, because that's what I want to do:

Invest in people. Invest in the potential of people to do something for themselves.

I'm not one of those people who wants to be a mayor at every cost.

I want to succeed and if people trust me...

and if people ask me to run again because I've done a good job...

then I'll think about it. But we'll wait and see.

The Description of The Mayor of Piran