Zohran Mamdani, filmmaker Mira Nair's son, elected to NY State Assembly: All you need to know about the rapper-cum-politician
Zohran Mamdani previously performed under the stage name 'Mr Cardamom' and is best known for producing a rap video 'Nani,' starring actress-food writer Madhur Jaffrey.
Zohran Kwame Mamdani, son of Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair and Ugandan academic Mahmood Mamdani, won a seat in the New York State Assembly. He is a first-time candidate for elected office.
Mamdani's rival, sitting Assembly member Aravella Simotas in July’s Democratic primary to represent Astoria, a neighbourhood in the New York City borough Queens. He ran uncontested on the 3 November polls, according to local outlet Patch.
Here is Mamdani's tweet about his victory
It's official: we won.
I'm going to Albany to fight to tax the rich, heal the sick, house the poor & build a socialist New York.
But I can't do it alone. To win socialism, we'll need a mass movement of the multiracial working class as well.
— Zohran Kwame Mamdani (@ZohranKMamdani) November 4, 2020
In January 2021, he and Jenifer Rajkumar, who has won another primary, will become the first persons of Indian origin in the Assembly.
Mamdani, 28, was born in Uganda, and describes himself as an "Indian-Ugandan New Yorker." He previously performed under the stage name "Mr Cardamom". He is best known for producing a rap video, 'Nani' starring actress-food writer Madhur Jaffrey.
The Hindu writes that Mamdani's first musical debut as a rapper, Young Cardamom, was with his friend Abdul Bar Hussein aka HAB, with the song ‘Kanda (Chap Chap)’. They even made songs in Luganda, English, Hindi, Swahili, Runyoro, and Nubi. Their collaboration '#1Spice’ for Queen of Katwe was directed by Nair.
He went to went to The Bronx High School of Science and then graduated from Bowdoin College. He works as a housing counsellor for non-profit Chhaya CDC, which works for the economic and housing needs of Indian-American and Indo-Caribbean communities.
Providing Affordable housing, as well as supporting workers and tenants are one of Mamdani's promises in his "Roti and Roses" campaign. Another issue in his campaign is the debt crisis New York taxi drivers are facing due to the virus pandemic.
Mamdani told Scroll in an October interview: “I wanted to speak about the universality of that struggle, and also shine a specific light on the struggle of South Asians in New York City."