Macon Mayor Jack Ellis’ chosen Islamic name, Hakim Mansour, means “wise person … who is helped by God’s decree.”

That translation was provided by Adam Fofana, an imam at the Macon Islamic Center. Fofana, who is visiting from a university in Malaysia, further expanded his translation, noting “Hakim” signifies a person who is experienced in life and knows the difference between right and wrong. “Mansour” is someone who moves by the guidance of God and seeks his assistance.

“It’s a very good combination there,” said Fofana, whose religious position is similar to that of a pastor in a Christian church. Fofana spoke to The Telegraph in a telephone interview, just minutes, he said, after Ellis had left from his Friday afternoon prayers at the center.

Ellis, who was raised as a Christian, on Thursday said he had become a Sunni Muslim during a December ceremony in Senegal, a country on the western coast of Africa. He is working to legally change his name to Hakim Mansour Ellis, keeping his last name at the request of two daughters.

Through his spokesman, Ron Wildman, Ellis said as far as city property is concerned, his name change would mean only an alteration to his portrait in City Hall. “Not one red cent,” the mayor said through Wildman, would be spent to alter his name on signs welcoming people to Macon, or on city letterhead.


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