Lewisham’s new young mayor thanks God for his win

Left: Femi Komolafe   Right: Aaliyah Odedina

Lewisham’s new young mayor has thanked God after winning the election with a resounding majority.

Femi Komolafe, 15, who attends Bonus Pastor Catholic College in Bromley, secured 1,858 votes.

He said of his win: “I feel very happy. I give thanks to God and everyone who supported me. I’m very grateful and I will do my best to repay their faith in me.”

Komolafe and his deputy Aaliyah Odedina, from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Knights Academy, will together have a budget of £25,000 to spend on issues relating to the borough’s youth. The results were announced on 17 October.

Malcolm Ball, Advisor to the Young Mayor (Lead officer youth participation strategy), London Borough of Lewisham, told EastLondonLines: “Our aim is to set a good example for our young people in Lewisham and promote that hard work never fails. In order to change our borough for the better, we have to be the change and it starts right here.

He added: “By helping young people to be informed in politics, knowledgeable about law and keeping them grounded as a community with further education it only promotes good leaders and we need more leaders from all backgrounds representing each borough.”

The young mayors are supposed to act as channels for young people’s views in their community by taking them to decision-makers and authority figures.                                                                                                                  

They also receive support from young advisers and the young citizens’ panel and have access to the full range of young people’s forums, networks and school councils.

The roles and responsibilities of the young mayor include:

  • supporting and being a spokesperson for the borough’s young people 
  • informing and advising the Mayor on issues relating to young people 
  • works with the young advisers and young citizens’ panel to inform the work of the mayor, Council and other decision-making bodies 
  • oversees a budget of at least £25,000.

Results of the young mayor election 2019

Name of candidateFirst preference votesSecond preference votesTotal votes
Femi Komolafe 1,1057531,858
Aaliyah Odedina1,0095261,535
Praise-God Onyeme994N/A994
Tolani Akinfolarin817N/A817

A representative of the borough told EastLondonLines: “We have the longest established young mayor programme in the country (it was started in 2004 by Sir Steve Bullock, former Mayor of Lewisham). It is influential in encouraging other councils to provide this opportunity for young people.”

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