Volunteers of Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary, together with local asylum seekers and refugees, and friends of Taofik from further afield, have twice come together at his grave in Bushbury Cemetery, Wolverhampton, to remember our dear friend. Firstly near the anniversary of his death, on July 5th, and then on the anniversary of his funeral, on August 7th.
On both occasions, we spent time together in the nearby park, adults and children, sharing food and friendship as we used to do with Taofik. July 5th was dry enough to spread ourselves (and food from several different cultures) on mats in a grassy field. In wetter weather on August 7th, we took advantage of the widely-spread sheltering branches of a mighty beech tree.
Some 30 of Taofik’s friends, including Togolese contingents from Liverpool and Birmingham, gathered by Taofik’s grave on Saturday August 7th on the first anniversary of his funeral. Due to COVID restrictions, his family abroad were unfortunately unable to attend.
The grave was graced by freshly-picked flowers. In a prayer to conclude our short vigil, Mike Fox paid tribute to the friendship which Taofik had granted each of us, his warm smile and sense of fun and also his great courage in adversity. Our memory of him remains deeply ingrained in our hearts.