On 27 November 2000 10-year-old Damilola was murdered on a Peckham Estate.
Two brothers who were 12 and 13 years old at the time of the murder were charged and convicted of manslaughter. To mark the 20th year anniversary of this tragedy Channel 4 has commissioned an hour-long documentary through production company Acme Films. The documentary will be presented by DJ, radio presenter and writer Yinka Bokina who grew up on the estate and was a friend of Damilola’s in his short time there.
The documentary will be shown in November around the anniversary of his death on Channel 4 and will explore the devastating impact the death of the 10-year old had on the nation as well as the people who lived on the North Peckham estate where the horrendous events took place.
Speaking about the upcoming documentary Yinka stated: “I’ve never spoken about the murder of my childhood friend until now, I have lived my life with so many questions about what happened and why it happened in the place that I called home. To finally be telling the story feels both therapeutic and scary but I am ready to share this side of the story. Hopefully, everyone will get to know the real Damilola, as he lived, a bit better.”
Damilola’s death had such a devastating impact on the community that the estate where he lived was later demolished and families were re-housed. A place where many had once felt safe and children had played together without fear had become one of the most notorious and negatively spoken about communities in London. Damilola’s death did not only affect his family but had inadvertently torn a community apart.
Jaimie D’Cruz, creative director, acme films continued; “Acme prides itself on telling stories that reflect the realities of life for people and communities whose voices are often silenced by simplified narratives and the rush to judgement. In revisiting an event that both shocked the nation and impacted young lives completely, Ashley Francis-Roy’s powerful film explores childhood, trauma and the nature of unreliable memory, and discovers a brilliant new documentary talent in Yinka Bokinni”
In 2001 The Damilola Taylor Trust was established in his memory, its mission was to provide young people with opportunities to ‘play, learn and to live their lives free of violence‘. In November 2019 the trust established the year 2020 as ‘The Year of Hope‘ which also commemorates the 20th anniversary of his death.