Malian Immigrant Gets French Citizenship After Saving Child Dangling From Balcony

French President Emmanuel Macron meets with Mamoudou Gassama, 22, from Mali, at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on May, 28, 2018.
Photo: Thibault Camus-pool (AP Images)

Mamoudou Gassama, an undocumented migrant to France from Mali, is being hailed as a hero after climbing a building to save a 4-year-old boy dangling from a fourth-floor balcony in Paris on Saturday. For his spectacular bravery, the 22-year-old is being made a French citizen and has been offered a job with the Paris fire brigade, according to the BBC.

Video of Gassama scaling the building has some people on Twitter calling him Spider-Man, as it took Gassama less than 30 seconds to make it to the fourth-floor balcony where the child was hanging and lift him to safety. Onlookers cheered him on throughout his climb.


Emergency services eventually made it to the scene, but Gassama had already saved the child.

“I like children; I would have hated to see him getting hurt in front of me. I ran and I looked for solutions to save him, and thank God, I scaled the front of the building to the balcony,” he told CNN affiliate BFM TV.

Gassama was in the neighborhood that day to watch a soccer game when he heard people talking about the situation.


French President Emmanuel Macron invited the young man to the Élysée Palace on Monday and presented him a certificate and a gold medal “for performing an act of courage and dedication,” according to CNN.

In case you’re curious about what motivated Gassama to climb four stories to save the kid, here’s what he told Macron: “I didn’t think about it; I climbed up and God helped me.”

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Terrell Jermaine Starr

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.

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