Five years on - Hackney stab-victim’s family appeal for memorial donations

The family of the man stabbed to death five years ago after complaining about the noise coming from a teenage gang, are appealing for donations towards a bench in his memory.

Father of two, Stevens Nyembo-Ya-Muteba died on October 1 2006 after the tragic event in the stairwell of his home in Evergreen Square, on the Holly Street estate in Haggerston.

His brave 12-year old daughter Debbie will make a speech at a memorial ceremony this Saturday along with Hackney vicar Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the House of Commons’ chaplain.

Illegal immigrant Joseph Ekaette, 19, stabbed Mr Nyembo-Ya-Muteba in his heart and lungs as the gang, including some as young as 13, chanted “shank him, shank him” - a term for stab - before running off laughing.

The devout Christian decided he had enough that night with the noise made by the gang who regularly intimidated residents on the estate, because he had to get up early the next morning.

Ironically the 40-year old refugee - who had been offered a place to study maths at Cambridge University - escaped violence when he fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo 15 years before.

His 34-year old widow Veronique Masosa who has since moved out of Hackney told The Gazette: “We just want to come back where our life has been torn apart, and remember my husband.

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“For me something good came out of my husband’s death, to make the community work together and support each other.”

Her children Debbie and 9-year old Sheridan were hoping the bench would be in place in time for the fifth anniversary of his death, but as yet not enough money has been raised.

“It would mean a lot to me and my kids to have something to remember my husband, so that every year we can come and put flowers and sit on the bench and remember him,” said Mrs Masosa.

“Some of them cost �800, some are over �8,000 and whatever we can get we can just try and do something.”

The memorial service takes place at 1pm this Saturday in Evergreen Square.

Housing Association Circle 33 is organising a fun day, with an awards ceremony for local young people from 12.30 to 4pm.

To donate money email Cllr Patrick Vernon on