Rest in Peace, Jonathan

Mourners heading to Jonathan's funeral
Mourners heading to Jonathan's funeral

The funeral of Jonathan Matondo was held on 23rd November 2007. Hundreds of mourners gathered at St Catherine’s Catholic Church to pay their last respects to the young resident shot dead on 17th October 2007 in Nottingham Cliff Park.

At 11am the funeral car slowly approached up Burngreave Road followed by family, friends and songs of mourning. Young people from all over the city had assembled at the church, and quietly followed the family in to hear the funeral service. The church was overflowing with people but silent respect prevailed. Grief touched everyone as Jonathan’s mother spoke of the loss of her only son and tears flowed for many as the final song from the Congolese community filled the church. Many followed the funeral procession to Spital Hill, from where it went on to the City Road Cemetery to lay Jonathan to rest.

In the six weeks following Jonathan’s death residents have struggled to come to terms with what has happened.

On 24th October 2007 a vigil for Jonathan was attended by more than 200 people, the majority young people, who stood in silence and brought flowers and candles to remember him.

Later at a public meeting at the Vestry Hall, there was a feeling that people really didn’t know what was happening for young people, or that what was happening wasn’t reaching the right young people. The message was that answers must come from the community.

At the Adventist Church on 25th October 2007, a meeting of residents and workers welcomed Pat Regan, from Women Against Violence. Speaking from the experience of losing a son, she told the meeting:

“The problem is the gun. We need to stop the negativity, we have to get together as adults, if we can’t do it how can the young do it? Patrol the streets if you have to. Let the community know we are not going to bury any more young people.”

While a local youth worker said:

“Young people need to see black people doing well. They haven’t got any role models, young black people don’t know what our community has been through.”

Another said, “We have to look at ourselves. Where are our role models? What do people do when they are successful? They just leave.”

Comments from young people can be found in our ‘Young Voices’ article. On the 8th December 2007 young people will gather for a conference to look for the answers themselves. For information, see the ‘Burngreave Streetworx project’ article.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Kate Atkinson on 2007-11-29 19:38:40.
The content of the page was last modified by Lisa Harrison on 2007-11-30 17:36:58.

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