16-year-old Joshua Bwalya put to rest
Two people, Ayrton Ambrose, 20, from Peckham, and Kareem Lashley-Weekes, 20, from Stratford were charged with the murder of Joshua but the charges were later dropped for unspecified reasons
LONDON, United Kingdom, November 22, 2017–A 16-year-old promising footballer Joshua Bwalya who was ambushed and stabbed to death by a masked gang of boys on 2nd August 2017 was on Monday 20th November 2017 put to rest at City London Cemetery.
Joshua’s funeral procession started at St. Margaret of Antioch Church Barking, which was attended by family members, representatives from the Mission, First Secretary Consular Mr. Portipher Sakala and First Secretary Immigration Mrs. Alice Shamshima, Friends, Zambians, among them Patriotic Front (PF) London Chairman Mr. Arnold Zulu and his wife Doreen and party members.
During the service, Joshua’s family and friends paid tribute to him and Major Stephen Noble from Barking Salvation Army preached on Love, a sermon entitled “Forgive and love another as a community.”
Joshua’s Mother, Mrs. Queenie Bwalya, who could not hold back her tears at the funeral, thanked God for having had Joshua in her life “You are in my heart, you are in my soul, but now apart, no hand to hold. I will not forget the love you had. I can still feel it to this day. I stand without you by my side, but I know you are watching from above. We will meet again for this I am sure because our love will last and endure, rest in peace,” she said.
On 2nd August 2017, Joshua and his two friends were “ambushed” by a group of youths on bicycles who were wearing masks as they were going home from a party.
The three were chased into a 24-hour-supermarket in Ripple Road at about 01:00 hours, then again into the street, where Joshua was stabbed, passers-by attempted to save him but he died at the scene. His two friends, who banged on doors of nearby homes to ask for help, were also stabbed but they survived.
According to Mrs. Bwalya, Joshua was a victim of a “crazy postcode war” and had been targeted by a gang from a rival Barking estate and he was stabbed six times in the back and ribs and his lungs were punctured.
A post-mortem examination showed Joshua died from multiple stab wounds.
Two people, Ayrton Ambrose, 20, from Peckham, and Kareem Lashley-Weekes, 20, from Stratford were charged with the murder of Joshua but the charges were later dropped for unspecified reasons but investigations into the murder are still ongoing.