The career of a black Russian, Joachim Ritu Kabi Crima, a native of Guinea-Bissau, known as the Volgograd Obama, began to develop successfully after his recent meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The governor of the Krasnodar region, Alexander Tkachev, invited Joachim to move to Sochi, where he could work building roads for the Winter Olympics 2014.
Tkachev met Crima last week, at a session about a possibility to cut administrative barriers in construction. The session was conducted by Vladimir Putin, Life News reports.
Joachim Crima calls himself Vasily Ivanovich - in honor of Vasily Chapayev. He became known in Russia after he repaired a whole street in the town of Srednaya Akhtuba in the Volgograd region, where he resides. The man repaired the road by his own efforts, with the help of his neighbors. He dedicated his "deed" to Putin.
It just so happened that the road has been repaired shortly before Putin's visit to Volgograd, where he was intended to discuss issues related to road repairs and construction industry. Crima claims that he was totally unaware of Putin's visit to the city.
Joachim-Vasily acknowledged that he had never expected that he would meet Putin in person.
"An official called me and said that I would have to meet a very important person. I wore my best suit for such an occasion," the man said.
Joachim arrived in the military community, which Putin was visiting. When he saw Putin approaching him, he became speechless, the man said. He quickly came to his senses, though, and even surprised the head of the government with his new plan. Joachim told Putin that he was going to build a swimming pool for children in his town. Putin promised to help.
"I believe him, because the prime minister is a good man," Life News quoted the African Russian as saying.
As for his possible move to Sochi, Joachim said that it would be good for him to live anywhere.
"It does not matter where I live, whether it is Africa or Russia. One can live well anywhere, but one has to work hard for it. A wise man said that you can not deny the things that you don’t know. So, if they make me an offer, I'll think it over," he said.
Joachim Crima was born in Guinea-Bissau in 1972. He has been living in Russia for 20 years, and it is his 12th year of living in the Volgograd region. He graduated from the Volgograd Pedagogical University, received the diploma of a teacher of chemistry and biology and married his former fellow student Anait, a native of Armenia. The couple have a son, Rimini, now aged ten.
In the Volgograd region, he was working as a street vendor selling water melons. He became known across Russia last year, after he had nominated himself for the position of the head of his district. The slogan of his campaign - "I'll work as hard as a negro" - attracted a lot of public attention in Russia in July 2009.
The African man quickly earned popularity among local residents in Srednaya Akhtuba owing to his sense of humor and ambition to work hard. He failed to win the election, though.
Joachim attracted attention of Western media outlets too. The Associated Press reporters visited the Volgograd region last year during the election campaign. The reporters wanted to make a documentary about Joachim's life in Russia's province to show the flick to America's first black President Barack Obama.