He is just 22, hails from strife-torn Mali in west Africa, is a migrant in Paris and, reportedly, entered France illegally.
But on Sunday, Mamoudou Gassama shot to fame across the world for his daring rescue of a child dangling from a fourth-floor balcony of a building in the 18th Arrondissement in Paris.
It took the slim Gassama just about 35 seconds to climb the balconies, grab the child and pull him back to safety.
The child clung on to the balcony with help from a neighbour who had somehow managed to hold the four-year-old boy by leaning from an adjoining balcony.
Video of the 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama’s spectacular rescue went viral on social media on Sunday. Reports say that the incident took place on Saturday evening on a street in the north of the city.
President Emmanuel Macron has invited Gassama to the Elysee Palace on Monday to thank him personally. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also praised Gassama’s heroism and said she had called him to thank him.
She referred to him as the “Spiderman of the 18th”, referring to the Paris district where the rescue took place.
Watch how Gassama saves the child in a matter of 33 seconds:
— Fred (@FredBC77) May 27, 2018
Praises for Gassama poured in from around the world.
Thank you for your heroism #MamoudouGassama!!!
Mali ‘spiderman’ wows France with Paris child rescue https://t.co/chenLZScgM
— Alyson Stoner (@AlysonStoner) May 28, 2018
— Vincent D’Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) May 27, 2018
Extremists don’t save lives, but good humans do. Well done Mamoudou Gassama! https://t.co/zUBMF4fC2p
— Imam Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) May 28, 2018
#MamadouGassama is the real #Spiderman!! He just arrived in Paris from West Africa and has no legal papers. Please!!! @EmmanuelMacron this man deserves to stay in France!!!! #RealHero #GoodHuman #France #Paris https://t.co/gmbsgzOG9L
— Aymeric Jett Montaz (@AymericJett) May 28, 2018