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The Boy who would be King

I met Yahya Hashim in the passageway beside the church hall that led to Silchester House. My family and I were draping a Gambian flag 🇬🇲 on the fence to honour my family members who had passed away in the horrific fire. I heard a lady shout out - “Oh no, not him as well!That boy was too smart”. The lady then proceeded to tell me about Yahya, and how brilliant he was at school, and how he was beginning to study for his GCSEs, years earlier than the dictated time. Yahya was 13 years old. His sister was Firdaws Hashim.

Yahya too had died at the Grenfell Tower fire. His picture had been copied into an A4 sheet of paper, and his school friends and classmates had written on the sheet, and stuck on post it messages. You see those messages here. 
I couldn’t help but stare at this boy.  Who, or what could have, would have have become. And what contribution he would have been to the whole world. He among the many many more who didn’t make it out of the Tower, or had no course but to jump out.

I was later to find out that Yahya’s sister and younger brother Yaqub and both their parents too had died in the fire. The whole family of powerful meaningful beings, gone. I later too found through John Snow of Channel 4 that Firdaws had won the annual ‘Debate Mate’ competition chaired by himself. She apparently was head and shoulders above the competition.

But Yahya’s image stayed constantly on my mind. His loss to the world stayed constant as a painful reminder too of all the people who died, and the unfairness and injustices of this world. You don’t know who you’re killing someone had once said, and the only way I could speak was to spend weeks on end producing this painting for the honour and memory of Yahya and his family,; of Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye; and of all who perished at Grenfell Tower and since as result!!

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