Teacher leaves Brent to be deputy prime minister of Somalia

Support teacher resigns to help govern Somalia

A learning support teacher at a Harlesden school will not be returning to work this term – because he has been made deputy prime minister of Somalia.

Mohamed Ibrahim, 64, of Owen Way, Neasden, worked at Newman Catholic College, in Harlesden Road, for the past two years.

But over the summer holidays he was unexpectedly appointed deputy prime minister of his native country as well as minister for foreign affairs.

Shocked Richard Kolka, headteacher, said: “I was both amazed and awestruck. What an honour, but also what a responsibility.

“I had absolutely no idea he was involved in the political life of his country, let alone at such a high and important level.”

Mr Ibrahim was employed by the school to help Somali boys improve their English.

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He is now tasked with leading his country through one of the worst droughts and famines to hit Somalia in 60 years.

There are four million people in crisis in the East African country with 750,000 at risk of death in the coming months.

The famine has been caused by a combination of factors including severe drought, rising food and fuel prices, chronic poverty and continued conflict.

But despite the huge responsibility he is now faced with, Mr Ibrahim wished Newman Catholic College all the best for the future.

In his resignation email to Mr Kolka, he wrote: “I was unexpectedly called to my country during the summer holidays, at a time when the country is facing a humanitarian crisis such as drought and famine.

“I am sorry not to have resigned from my post and to have accepted another job. I will always have Newman Catholic College in my heart and won’t forget the wonderful colleagues.”

Mr Kolka said that given the circumstances, normal resignation protocols could be waived. He added: “He was always such a humble guy. I got the impression he was well respected by the boys and their Somali parents. But I did not see this coming. I was gobsmacked.

“Even in his email he was very humble.”

Mr Ibrahim has promised to pop into the school when he arrives in London after the UN General Assembly in New York at the end of the month.

To donate to the East Africa Crisis Appeal www.dec.org.uk