Paris ‘Spider-Man’ Mamoudou Gassama joins fire brigade & will receive French citizenship within 3 Months

Malian migrant Mamoudou Gassama (C) flanked by his older brother (R) holds his temporary residence permit after receiving it at the Prefecture of Bobigny, northeast of Paris on May 29, 2018, one day after he was honored by the French President for scaling an apartment building to save a 4-year-old child dangling from a fourth-floor balcony. Two days after his daring rescue -- viewed millions of times online -- Mamoudou Gassama, 22-year old, nicknamed "Spiderman" by French media for his astonishing climbing ability and feted as a hero, was offered by French President citizenship, and a job with the fire service. / AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN

Mamoudou Gassama, the 22-year-old Malian who is seen as a hero in France for saving a child hanging from a balcony, has been granted legal immigration status and has joined the French fire brigade.

Gassama has been celebrated in France and Mali after a video went viral showing him scaling several storeys of a Paris building to save a four-year-old boy who had already dropped one floor and was dangling from a balcony railing by his fingertips.

After Gassama’s immigration papers were fast-tracked on Tuesday morning, he visited a fire station to sign up for a 10-month internship with the fire and rescue services, which is expected to pay around €600 (£525) a month. He will receive French citizenship within around three months.

Gassama left Mali as a teenager and travelled via Libya – where he was arrested and beaten – and by a perilous boat journey to the Italian coast. He spent four years in Italy before arriving in France in September to join his brother.

Without legal documents in France, he had been sleeping on the floor of a residence for migrants in Montreuil, outside Paris, rolling out a thin mattress each night and packing it up in the morning, sharing a cramped room with six others and unable to work legally.

Patrice Bessac, the Montreuil mayor, praised Gassama’s bravery and promised to rehouse him, saying: “I’m proud to see migrants being seen as enriching our society.”

Praise has been unanimous for Gassama, who has been given the nickname “Le Spider-Man”. But after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, invited him to the Elysée Palace on Monday and awarded him a medal for “bravery and devotion”. | Rebranding & Celebrating Africa!
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