17-year-old Young Mayor sworn in

Kieza Silveira De Sousa Photo: Lewisham Council

Lewisham has celebrated the inauguration of its seventh Young Mayor, with Kieza Silveira De Sousa becoming the new voice for young people in the borough.

Kieza, 17, from Downham, along with new Deputy Young Mayor Jawan Sakil, 15, from New Cross, signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office in the presence of the full council, at Monday evening’s inauguration ceremony in the Town Hall.

“I feel ready for this role, and am looking forward to continuing the great work of my predecessors,” said Kieza. “I want to be an inspiration to other young people in Lewisham. A lot of them have put their faith in me, and I won’t let them down.”

Outgoing Young Mayor Jacob Sakil, 18, from New Cross Gate, was also present to officially hand over power. “They say a creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others,” he said.

“That quote sums up a young man who deserves to be, and is now, the Young Mayor, Kieza. I know that he and Jawan will do even better than me and Lola.”

Running on the campaign slogans “Do yourself a favour, vote for Kieza” and “Ain’t no harm in voting for Jawan”, the pair were elected separately in October and will now work as a team to represent the views and aspirations of Lewisham’s young people.

For the next 12 months they will work with the council and various parts of the community, influencing services and proposals to better meet the needs of young people in the borough. In particular, they hope to address the need for employment opportunities and plan to highlight the positive role young people play in the wider society.

Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “I am constantly amazed by the exceptionally high calibre of our young mayors and deputy young mayors. It demonstrates the immense talent that exists among the young people in Lewisham.

“Jacob has been a very active young mayor and I know Kieza will follow in the same vein. I look forward to working with him and his deputy Jawan over the coming year.”

For more information about the Young Mayor, visit the Be Involved website

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