Tributes paid to Black Lives Matter campaigner Ahmed Fofanah – a ‘gentle giant’ with ‘very big heart’

Tributes have been paid to a prominent Black Lives Matter campaigner from Weston-super-Mare. Ahmed Fofanah, 42, died on August 4.

The dad-of-five and grandfather-of-three is understood to have died unexpectedly and several groups in the area have now paid tribute to him.

Bristol Copwatch said: “All of us within the Bristol Copwatch core organising team are devastated by his death and will never forget his importance as someone we supported during his fight for justice and as a strong black man and loving father and husband.

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“We were deeply saddened to learn of his passing as he meant so much to all of us. His resilience and sheer bravery and determination in the face of adversity were truly beautiful things and seeing him rise time and again was an inspiration to us all.

“His kindness and depth as a human struck a chord with all of us and his presence and strong voice lit up a room when he told the story of his journey. It was and still is an honour to have supported Ahmed and his family and just like before we are here when they need us the most.

“We will never forget the gentle giant that graced us with his presence for over a year of his life and everything we do as a monitoring group will honour his memory. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time. Rest in power.”

The University of Leeds also paid tribute to Mr Fofanah, describing him as a “dear friend”. It wrote: “Ahmed was a key member of the Co-POWeR Community Engagement Panel, and we are honoured that he joined us and spoke at our Westminster Policy event in June.

“He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones.”

Several tributes were also paid to him on Facebook, with one person saying they were “so saddened by the news” and that Mr Fofanah would be “much missed”. A Gofundme page to raise funds for his funeral has also been raised and you can donate here.

The page states: “The whole family is shocked and saddened by this unexpected loss. If you knew Ahmed, you knew his family was his world, you’d know how much he touched the lives of everyone around him, a true friend he always had a big smile to greet anyone he met and he had a very big heart.

“Ahmed was someone that gave back to his community. It’s now our turn to give back and help the family and children he left behind as they deal with this huge loss. “

Back in 2020, Mr Fofanah was at the heart of a protest held outside Bristol Magistrates’ Court as he said he had “lost count” of the number of times he had been stopped and searched by the police since moving to Weston-super-Mare.

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