Hundreds join moving farewell for ‘sweet’ Imani
Funeral procession on the streets where 22-year-old shooting victim grew up
04 September, 2020 — By Calum Fraser
Imani Allaway-Muir’s coffin is taken to the horse-drawn hearse, led by dad Jason
THE tearful family of a young man who was shot dead in Holloway draped their arms over his coffin before a funeral procession joined by hundreds carried his body through the streets he grew up in.
The poignant gathering for Imani Allaway-Muir, 22, who was gunned down near a playground at the Westbourne Estate in broad daylight two months ago, was held yesterday (Thursday).
Up to 200 friends and family came together outside his mother Keetha Allaway’s house to pay their respects. The body was held there as family members sang songs in his memory.
Emotional family and friends stand over the coffin
Mr Allaway-Muir’s father, Jason Muir, told the Tribune: “This morning I woke up and I was alright, but then I come down here and I’m hurting, I’m really hurting.
He added: “We are saying goodbye in the best way we can.”
Mr Muir helped to carry his son’s coffin to a horse and carriage hearse.
It was then taken to St Mary Magdalene Church, opposite St Mary Magdalene Academy in Liverpool Road, where Imani spent his school days.
Due to Covid restrictions, only 30 people were allowed in the church, but the service was shown on screens in the gardens outside.
The procession makes its way along Holloway Road
Ms Allaway read out a poem she wrote for her first-born son.
She said: “I need you back, I am a grieving mother. I really tried to get to you son, I really, really tried.
“I looked on as they tried to revive your precious heart, but then they said they were really sorry, they couldn’t get it to start. I screamed, I shouted. Tell me how we can go on without you my prince. I’m struggling for answers. Why? What went wrong? I promise you, Imani, I will do my very best until justice is done.”
And paying tribute to his son at the service, Mr Muir said: “I can’t do anything to bring you back. All I can say is I love you and I’m very very sorry for what happened to you.”
In another tribute, Mr Allaway-Muir’s auntie Tanya said: “He was born at the Whittington Hospital six weeks premature, he was such a tiny little thing but his zest for life, and his mother’s love, pulled him through.
“His heart was strong, a sweet and loving soul, always smiling and cheeky. By the time he was two we started to call him Michelin Man because he was getting beefy. We would say ‘show us your muscles, Imani’. He would tense his fists and it would make us laugh so much.
“There was no stopping him from then on.”
Imani was buried at the St Pancras and Islington cemetery in East Finchley before a wake was held in Paradise Park near Liverpool Road.