Free anti-knife crime festival to honour Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes back on in Harlesden

PUBLISHED: 14:11 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:11 18 July 2018




A free family festival in honour of a popular teenager stabbed to death in Willesden is back on this weekend with its aim of stamping out knife crime.


Quamari’s One Love Memorial Festival is taking over the Roundwood Park annex, in Harlesden Road, this Sunday from 12pm to 7pm.

Local musicians including Levy Roots and Gappy Ranks are among the line up on the main stage along with up and coming performers and dancers.

Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes died in hospital after being stabbed on January 23 last year outside the Capital City Academy in Doyle Gardens, where he was a pupil.

The festival was due to take place at the school on the eve of Quamari’s birthday on April 8 but his parents had to find another venue following discussions with the council.

Quamari One Love Memorial FestivalQuamari One Love Memorial Festival

Paul Barnes, Quamari’s father said: “It’s been a bit of a slog, an up hill struggle because the festival’s now in a park and not in a school but I’m glad we’ve got there. I’ve never done anything like this on this scale but we needed to do something for Quamari and bring awareness to knife crime.

“We wanted it to happen, it needs to happen and it’s going to happen.”

He added: “The support the community showed us when Quamari passed away was so overwhelming, we wanted to give something back. The response has been brilliant. A lot of people have donated things to give away on the day.”

Queen’s Park mother Tamsin Nathan, who was with Quamari in the moments after the 15-year-old was fatally stabbed has created a 15-minute dance, Not Another Youth. The show tells the story of two boys, with different lives and different outcomes.

Speakers will include other parents who have lost children to knife crime.

There’s also a bouncy castle, games and give away prizes for young attendees.

Popular and hard-working, Quamari aimed to get “top marks” in his GCSEs before he was stabbed outside the gates of his school. His 15-year-old killer is serving life with a minimum of 12 years.

Thousands turned out for his funeral a year ago, filling the Sacred Heart Church, in Quex Road, Kilburn, to hear family tributes to the “much-loved boy with a heart full of gold”.

Lilian Serunkuma, Quamari’s mother, added: “We’re holding this event to give back to the community and thank them for all their support and also to bring awareness of knife crime.

“We want young people to have the opportunity to see that the community is behind them in order to safeguard their future and make sure we don’t have anymore fatalities.

“Violence doesn’t just affect a certain group, it affects all of us.”

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