CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Kwasi Anim-Boadu: Grieving sister in plea for knife amnesty bins

20-year-old was stabbed to death at house party

17 May, 2018 — By William McLennan

Naya Anim-Boadu with her brother Kwasi

THE sister of a 20-year-old man who was stabbed to death at a house party says she is shocked Camden does not have a single knife-amnesty bin.

Naya Anim-Boadu, whose brother Kwasi was killed last month, is calling for young men to put down their weapons and wants specialist bins installed across the borough to allow knives to be safely disposed of. She said: “This should stop from now. We don’t want any bitterness or people taking revenge. We want young people to know that there is something more important.”

Mr Anim-Boadu, who was known as “Junior” or “Lavish”, was attacked in Finsbury Park, Islington, on April 21. He is the fourth young man from Camden to have been killed with a knife this year.

His sister is being supported by the grassroots community group Camden Against Violence, who are calling for three knife bins to be installed. Elaine Donnellon, one of the founders of the group, said it would cost £9,000 for the bins to be bought, installed and maintained.

“It’s a drop in the ocean,” she said. “Somebody must have a budget to help pay for this.” She added: “We know it’s not the solution for everybody, but people do use them. Having them around might just plant the idea in somebody’s head. Even if one life is saved, isn’t it worth it?” Several charities, including Word4Weapons, offer to provide bins.

Mr Anim-Boadu’s aunt, Adwoa Frimpomah, said: “We want Junior’s life to mean something positive for the community in Camden, starting now.”

A football tournament in honour of her brother will be held tomorrow (Friday) near the family home on the pitches at the Castlehaven Community Centre on what would have been his 21st birthday. They will be hosting a celebration of his life, open to all, from noon on Saturday.

Mr Anim-Boadu was a former pupil of St Patrick’s primary school in Kentish Town, and an altar boy at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, in Lady Margaret Road. He was due to restart a business studies degree in September.

His death shocked members of the congregation and a crowdfunding site to cover the costs of his funeral has raised more than £7,000. Donors paid tribute to a “bubbly and funny person” and a “a lovely, polite young man”.

His sister said she had taken strength from all the messages of support, adding: “No one had anything bad to say about him. People still come over and tell me things about him.”

She said she had been reflecting on the rise in fatal stabbings across London, which disproportionately affect young men.

She added: “It’s often very minor things. I feel like a lot of males have got a lot of pride. Everyone wants to show they are the bigger person and they don’t want to back down. Instead of saying, ‘I don’t want to fight’, and just sorting it out, they would rather fight. They see a lot of trauma. They don’t know how to express themselves. I think they have a lot of mental health problems.”

Camden’s community safety chief, Councillor Nadia Shah, said the council were “considering every aspect of this complex issue and a range of ideas to keep our residents safe”.

She added: “Our Youth Safety Taskforce is working with parents and carers, young people, voluntary youth services, the police and MPs to take a really fresh look at this issue and is due to report its findings in June.”

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