The whole of Britain and Africa as a whole was shocked back in 2000 when the 11 year old who had only just arrived from Nigeria 3 months previously was killed so brutally as a result of a stabbing to his leg.The stab as we learnt from the movie was in a way that suggested the bottle had been twisted
in the wound resulting in his artery being severed.Needless to say,the young boy bled to death.
Star wars actor John Boyega was one of the last people to see the murdered Nigerian boy as shown on CCTV.
But the movie showed us deeper angles of the effects of the tragedy within his family that we never imagined possible.For example,i remember that every time i saw Damilola's parent's,they looked so unified and the father Richard in particular looked so calm.So imagine my shock when i saw how cold he was to the wife and elder son after the murder.
He blamed them for the death of the boy and was very cold towards the,.It is full credit to Richard that he allowed this side of him that he later regretted to be shown,many would have made sure that part was not made known to the public.Especially since his wife who could tell that story died many years ago.
The killing really almost tore the family apart and the same thing actually happened with another black family that faced the same public scrutiny,the late Steven Lawrence was also murdered and his parents eventually split up from the stress of the whole episode.
“Richard always said he wanted us to show people what it was really like, the anger as much as the grief, the blame as much as the healing,” says Colin Barr, the executive producer of the drama.
Babou Ceesay played Richard and did a fantastic job,apart from the fact that he could not speak Yoruba which is the father of the dead boy's language.He spoke Yoruba in a scene in the film and as a Nigerian and a Yoruba man,i was embarrassed.If you know anything about the Yoruba man,it is the fact that he is so proud of his heritage and language,so making a Yoruba man who lives in Nigeria speak Yoruba like a Russian did not go down well.
And the fact that he acted well does not make it better either.Now imagine a man playing an American.He plays the part beautifully,but then speaks with a cockney accent portraying an American.How would an American feel watching this?Now you get my drift.
Wunmi Mosaku, played Gloria the wife and mother,and she equally did a fantastic job.
Richard later set up the Damolola Taylor Trust which has helped many kids and kept the legacy of the murdered 11 year old going.I could tell you more,but i don't wanna spoil the movie for you.But make sure you catch it on BBC i player,it was a really emotional and insightful film.
Written By Wale Morads for Queen Olofofo.