One year on from the terrorist attack that resulted in two tragic deaths on London Bridge (29.11.19), one of Jack Merritt’s closest friends, an amateur singer-songwriter, whom he met through Cambridge University’s ‘Learning Together’ programme, Rosca Onya, is launching ‘Jack’, a memorial rap single in Jack’s memory. Rosca is hoping to raise £5,000 before the end of the year for non-profit organisations Learning Together, Just for Kids Law (JfKL) and JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association), from sales of his poignant and heartfelt single.Read More Donate Now
Rosca, aged 29, was born one of nine children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Having witnessed inexplicable horrors as a child, Rosca and some of his siblings ended up without parents, moving from camp to camp within the refugee system, both in Africa and then in the UK. Two of his siblings tragically perished in unimaginable circumstances. His passion for music started in the refugee camps, where he would turn empty flour buckets upside down and drift away to another beat and another world in his head… the now-named ‘Rosca’s World’Read More
Rosca expressed from the heart: “I met Jack when I was in HM Prison Grendon, an amazing therapeutic prison that helped me to view life in a different way. When I came to the UK, I was nine; I had experienced so much terror in my short lifetime and had no emotional or life parachute. I didn’t have people around me I could trust. I ended up in prison because I got involved with a local gang – they made me feel like I belonged by night while I was being bullied at school by day. Whilst I deeply regret and now take ownership of my actions, I never would have met Jack otherwise. Jack wasn’t like most people I had known before – he didn’t see black or white, as I wrote in the lyrics of the song. We were both passionate about music and he helped me pass a Criminology course at Cambridge University.
“Through my therapy and study through Learning Together, even at my lowest point, after Jack died, I knew I had to keep his light shining. The only way I could and can do this is through our mutual love of music. I miss him so much and was en route to see him at Fishmonger’s Hall when I received the call about the attack. Jack’s parents are like family to me. They have welcomed me into their world. I only hope this single, part of Rosca’s World of music, can raise a lot of money. Now is my time to give back,” added Rosca.Read More
Dave and Anne Merritt, added: “Rosca met Jack in prison on the Learning Together course, and they became friends. Jack continued to support Rosca after his release from prison and he encouraged him to pursue a career in music. We first met Rosca at Jack’s funeral and we have stayed in touch ever since. Rosca told us about the profound influence Jack had on him, helping him to turn his back on the crime he had been into as a young man with a difficult background.
“After Jack died, Rosca was inspired to celebrate his friend in music and the song ‘Jack’ is a beautiful, fitting tribute to Jack and their friendship. We feel honoured to know Rosca, and we know Jack would be proud of him as we are. We love you, Rosca!”, added Jack’s parents.Read More