Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Yinka Bokinni pays tribute to childhood friend in her debut documentary 'Damilola: The Boy Next Door'
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of 10 year old boy Damilola Taylor, who was stabbed to death on the 27th November in 2000. Damilola's death became one of the most high profile killings in the UK at the time and now, two decades on, Radio DJ and Presenter Yinka Bokinni strives to provide an in depth account of just who Damilola Taylor was and look further into the impact his death had on the local community and the lives of his family and friends.
Yinka grew up on the same estate as Damilola and considered him not only a friend and neighbour but someone who was "like a brother" to her. However, for a long time Bokinni revealed that she "denied knowing Damilola" and refrained from speaking about him as a coping mechanism to deal with his tragic passing. Now 20 years later, at age 30, Yinka has returned to the now-closed North Peckham estate to tell both hers and Damilola's story.
Where the documentary speaks on the tragic events of the murder itself, the focus is more on the impact it had on Bokinni and the other people who lived on the estate at the time. Throughout the documentary we see Yinka conduct a series of interviews with former neighbours, family and friends, including Damilola's father, who all share their fond memories of Damilola.
In an interview Yinka expressed that it was really important for her to properly meet with Damilola's father Richard Taylor before filming because without his blessing to do it then she wouldn't continue to make the documentary. However, Yinka expressed that Richard "was even just happy to hear the stories and he was happy to know that Dami had friends who really cared about him. And to know that what happened to him wasn’t inevitable – it was a complete and utter travesty." And since Damilola's death Richard and his wife Gloria - who sadly passed away in 2008 - set up the Damilola Taylor Trust in hopes of providing more opportunities for underprivileged youth.
The touching documentary serves not only as a loving tribute to Damilola but also a wider insight into the huge impact knife crime can have, not only on the victim themselves but on the many individuals who knew and loved them.
You can watch 'Damilola:The Boy Next Door' by clicking here.