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Family of a young man who died trying to save a drowning woman receives Mayor’s Award

By Regina Motalib
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The family of a young man who died while trying to save a woman from drowning, was awarded the Mayor’s Discretionary Civic Award at a ceremony held at Southwark Cathedral.

Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole’s parents and brothers were presented the award at the Southwark Civic Awards on October 4, for his bravery and courage.

Folajimi, 20, known as Jimi was walking home over London Bridge after work , when he heard screams for help from someone who had fallen into the river. Jimi and another man jumped into the water just after midnight on Saturday April 24 to help.

The woman and the other man were pulled from the water but Jimi’s body was discovered hours later.

The Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Barrie Hargrove paid a moving tribute to the young man and expressed how he wished the events of April 24 never happened.

He said: “Michael Adewole, this is our tribute to you, your family and your loving son – who during his short 20 years of life, through his remarkable act of selflessness, made the world sit up and see that he was truly one of the best of us.

Folajimi will always be in our hearts.

Family of a young man who died trying to save a drowning woman receives Mayor’s Award
The family of Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole,  receive the award from Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Barrie Hargrove

“Although  I  have  no  doubt  what-soever  about  the  worthiness of the recipient of my Mayor’s discretionary award for 2020, this is an award I would have loved not to make.”

Jimi’s parents Michael and Olasunkanmi Adewole and his two brothers received a standing ovation after accepting the award from the Mayor.

Describing Jimi as brave and wonderful, he thanked Jimi’s parents for their presence.

The Mayor described how Jimi, “lost his life while trying to save that of another”.

He said: “How could we ever find a more shining example of civic courage and steadfastness?

After the unbearable tragic events of the night of April 24, the name Jimi, Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole rang out across the nation.

“A young man of Southwark in the most forcible terms showing the people of the UK, the inherent goodness of our young people in our city.”

The  Mayor  also  shared  that  they attended the same primary school, Camelot School off the Old Kent Road.After the incident, in statements through the police, his father Michael Adewola described  Jimi as a loving son and his best friend.

He said: “He had a good heart and was always willing to help everyone around him. I’ll forever miss him.”

His mother Olasunkanmi Adewole said: “My son Jimi is my strength. He takes care of me and everyone. I’m empty without Jimi. I pray to have peace in my life.”

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