'No one has come to me and spat on my face': Briton on being a councillor in Slovakia

Addy Akram speaks about how he became a local politician in eastern Slovakia and why foreigners should vote in Slovakia.

On the Spectator College podcast, Briton Addy Akram, who serves as a councillor in eastern Slovakia, talks about his journey into Slovak local politics. On the Spectator College podcast, Briton Addy Akram, who serves as a councillor in eastern Slovakia, talks about his journey into Slovak local politics. (Source: Michal Babinčák/fjúžn festival)

When he announced he would run for councillor in the town of Spišská Nová Ves, eastern Slovakia, local people thought teacher Addy Akram from East London was joking.

“Go for it. You’d be like Ali G Indahouse,” his students teased him in 2006.

However, this “strange idea” of the “boy” from East London who wanted to improve life in a neglected part of Spišská Nová Ves, where he was then living, worked out, surprisingly, though one of his friends had told him ahead of the municipal election: “Addy, you’ve got no chance. No one knows you.”

After 15 years of serving as a councillor and seeing how things have changed in the town and how grateful people are, the Briton still enjoys his job, despite being paid little money for it.

“No one has spat on my face. Not yet,” Akram jokes in the Spectator College podcast.

He goes on to comment on why foreigners in Slovakia should vote and run for councillor positions in municipal and regional elections.

Exam topic: Multicultural Society

Other study materials:

It is a simple question. How many foreigners vote in Slovakia? Read more  In Sheffield, discriminatory posters targeting Slovaks remain unpunished Read more 

The Spectator College is a programme designed to support the study and teaching of English in Slovakia, as well as to inspire interest in important public issues among young people.

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