Damilola Taylor was born on 7th December 1989 in Nigeria. All who knew him described him as a sensitive and exuberant boy who loved life and lit up the room when he walked into it with his infectious good humour and winning smile. He enjoyed sport, particularly football and was an ardent Manchester United supporter.
His sister, Gbemi suffered from a severe form of epilepsy and Damilola’s ambition was to follow a career in medical research in order to find a cure for her and others like her. In Summer 2000, in order to gain the necessary treatment for Gbemi, Damilola, his brother and mother, Gloria moved to England, settling in Peckham. His father, Richard remained in Nigeria to support the family by maintaining his Civil Service career.
Damilola began the new academic year at Oliver Goldsmith School. On 27th November 2000, Damilola set off for home from his studies at Peckham Library, he was never to reach home alive. He was captured on CCTV as he walked away.
After 3 long trials, Damilola’s killers were finally brought to justice. They were aged 12 and 13. Damilola’s death raised many questions about the baseline values in our society and what leads young people to commit such acts of violence.
When Damilola was just ten years old he wrote: “I will travel far and wide to choose my destiny to remould the world. I know it is my destiny to defend the world which I hope to achieve in my lifetime”.
Due to a senseless act of violence he would sadly never see his dreams fulfilled. The Damilola Taylor Trust was set up to honour his memory by working in the community to try and help bringing about changes for the better.