Grenfell Tower victim, 20, ‘would have been something big’ in area says coach
Youth Action Alliance held a festival at Westway Sports Centre close to Grenfell Tower.
A young victim of the Grenfell Tower fire would have gone on to become a pillar of the community, according to his football coach.
Yasin El-Wahabi, 20, lived on the 21st floor with his family and was described by coach Kamal Romain as the sort of person who “lights up a room” and who had it in him to become a community leader.
Speaking at a youth festival at Westway Sports Centre, opposite the tower in west London, Mr Romain, 24, said he had known Mr El-Wahabi for at least five years.
He described him as “so positive” and “really comedic, really fun”, adding: “He really liked to look after some of the younger Moroccan kids in the area.”
Mr Romain said he had the potential to be “a massive pillar in this community”, and added: “The Moroccan community makes up a large part of North Kensington.
“It’s that whole circle of life, and he was just getting on that beginning of maybe helping out with the younger age children. And I saw something in him that I thought to myself ‘That is the kind of young people that we need’.”
Mr Romain, who has lived near the tower all his life, added: “He would have been something big in this area. Easily, he would have been something big.”
He also knew and coached 13-year-old Yahya Hashim who lived on the 22nd floor of the tower and died alongside his family.
“He was a really, really good kid, and it’s a credit to his parents that they raised such a good child,” Mr Romain said.
The festival at the Westway on Saturday brought the community together with music, family activities and football – the sport enjoyed by both Mr El-Wahabi and Yahya.
Mr Romain said it was good “to help the children to remember them and to celebrate their lives”, adding: “It’s always good if we can remember the positive things.”
The festival was organised by Youth Action Alliance in collaboration with other North Kensington youth organisations.
Kevin Ramsey, CEO of Youth Action Alliance, said: “We wanted both to commemorate those who lost their lives in the fire and show appreciation and support for local organisations, young people and residents.
“The grief in our community is apparent to ourselves, but so too should be the resilience of North Kensington residents and friends.”