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Africans get headstone at Westbury Cemetery

Eleven lifeless Africans who were found on a boat off the coast of Barbados in April 2006 were immortalized today with a headstone at Westbury Cemetery.

Ten of the 11 were buried at Westbury in January 2011, with Muslim and Roman Catholic prayer leaders officiating at the funeral.

They were among 55 would-be immigrants from Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Gambia who left Cape Verde on Christmas Day 2005, having paid a mysterious Spanish man the euro equivalent of about $2,950 to take them to the Canary Islands in search of a better life.

A series of mishaps resulted in their deaths, the majority of them believed to have been tossed overboard by the raging Atlantic Ocean.

Present at this morning’s ceremony were local pan Africanists, representatives from the Muslim community, the Catholic church and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Ndaje Senegal Association from Guadeloupe, which funded the headstone.

President of the Ndaje Senegal Association Kaly Diedhiou (left) and secretary Emile Angevin unveiling the headstone.

President of the Ndaje Senegal Association Kaly Diedhiou (left) and secretary Emile Angevin unveiling the headstone.

Coordinator of the event Modou Diagne told Barbados TODAY the unveiling of the headstone was significant, particularly because February is black history month.

“It is even more significant at this specific time of African Awareness Month. The marking of the graveyard is important because it is a reminder of what has happened there and who is buried there,” Diagne said.

2 Responses to Africans get headstone at Westbury Cemetery

  1. katie February 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

    R.I.P. Poor souls paid money to start a new and better life.
    I’m showing respect as the daughter of a Gambian man who came to England for a better life in the 50’s and died in the 70’s

  2. Tony Webster February 12, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    May I offer my thanks and appreciation these kind folks, Mr. Diagne and his friends, for this gesture, so full of compassion and simple humanity. This reminds us, not only of our own individual mortality, and the capriciousness of fate, but moreso, that here in this tiny nation, we have an ocean of humanity. Well done, I say.

    May these souls rest peacefully with us.


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