Popular
(Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

'Let This Be a Constant Dark Stain on British Society'—Stormzy Remembers the Victims of Grenfell Tower

The artist delivered a heartfelt speech on the third anniversary of the tragedy, and has also pledged £10 million to Black causes over the next ten years.

Sunday, June 14 marked the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 mostly working class people of color in West London in 2017.

In remembrance of those lost, Grenfell United held a special memorial that featured words and tributes from various individuals and public figures including Adele, and star British-Ghanaian rapper Stormzy, who has remained outspoken about the government's lack of action since the tragedy occurred.


He delivered a heartfelt speech during the event, sharing a message of remembrance and support for victims. "To all the people of Grenfell, we're still mourning with you, so to anyone watching this let's use this time, let's use today to stand in solidarity with them and say that we ain't forgotten you. We love you, we're here for you," said the rapper.

"When the government and powers that be have turned their back on you, we're here," he added. "We're here, we've got you, we're not letting this go," he added. "It's become my duty – and everyone else's duty – to make sure we never forget this."

Earlier this month, the rapper pledged £10 million ($12.5m) to Black-British causes in light of global Black Lives Matter protests. 'We have to fight against the odds of a racist system stacked against us and designed for us to fail from before we are even born," said the artist. Stormzy has a proven track record of progressive social justice work. In 2018, he launched a scholarship program for Black students to attend Cambridge University, which led to a direct increase on the amount of Black students enrolled there.

The 2017 Grenfell tragedy highlighted racial and economic disparities in the UK, and government's neglect of people in public housing. Some survivors of the tragedy struggled to get housing afterwards. Rising British-Gambian photographer Khadija Saye was one of the victims. Feelings of anger and sadness around the Grenfell tragedy are especially heightened now as Black people continue to protest for equality globally.

Later in his speech, the rapper urged viewers to never forget the victims of the tragedy even if it seems like the world has moved on. "Let this be a constant reminder, let this be a constant dark stain on British society in terms of that many lives lost and the world kept moving. There's not been any justice. Let that be a constant reminder," said Stormzy.

Check out the full event, which streamed virtually on YouTube on Sunday below.

REMEMBER GRENFELL - A special memorial for the 3rd Year Anniversary youtu.be

News
Photo: Alvin Ukpeh.

The Year Is 2020 & the Future of Nigeria Is the Youth

We discuss the strength in resolve of Nigeria's youth, their use of social media to speak up, and the young digital platforms circumventing the legacy media propaganda machine. We also get first-hand accounts from young creatives on being extorted by SARS and why they believe the protests are so important.

In the midst of a pandemic-rife 2020, the voices of African youth have gotten louder in demand for a better present and future. From structural reforms, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and derelict states of public service, the youths have amplified their voices via the internet and social media, to cohesively express grievances that would hitherto have been quelled at a whisper.

Nigerian youth have used the internet and social media to create and sustain a loud voice for themselves. The expression of frustration and the calls for change may have started online, but it's having a profound effect on the lives of every Nigerian with each passing day. What started as the twitter hashtag #EndSARS has grown into a nationwide youth revolution led by the people.

Even after the government supposedly disbanded the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit on the 10th of October, young Nigerians have not relented in their demands for better policing. The lack of trust for government promises has kept the youth protesting on the streets and online.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Interview: 808x On Crafting Different Sounds For the Diverse Innanetwav Roster

808x, the in-house producer for South Africa's popular hip-hop collective/label Innanetwav, breaks down his working process with artists and the importance of energy.