Thursday, 2 October 2008


Sometime on Monday, Shaka, a beloved friend of mine, died on the Harrow Road. He was 32 years old. At the moment no further details are known.

To think that Shaka died just down the road from me, possibly alone, certainly with no close friends around him, hurts.

Being with Shaka always made me feel good. He always brought a smile to my face, he could always make me laugh, even when I was feeling down. The last time I saw Shaka, just over two weeks ago in the Salusbury pub, I was jokingly telling him how I'd love to inhabit his body just for a day, just to experience what it must have been like to be him. Shaka had the moves. Shaka had inimitable style. To see Shaka on the dance floor was something else! Women and men alike adored him. I know he was troubled, and for years struggled with the dark side of his nature; something we shared in common, and would sometimes talk about... but no one was the life and soul of the party like Shaka was... his smile lit up every room he entered, and warmed every heart that was blessed to experience it.

One day last year I came out of my house and Shaka was walking past my front door. He was feeling very bad, as his relationship with the woman he was deeply in love with had broken down. To see this gentle man laid so low really touched me. At the time this was another thing we shared in common.

I hoped I was able to bring him some solace, through the experiences I'd had in life, and I know that recently he was in much better spirits.

But we had so many fantastic times together. In Mallorca. At festivals and parties here and abroad. In Brasil, Christmas 2004, we roamed the countryside of Bahia, swimming huge rivers, feasting on freshwater crabs, mangoes plucked from roadside trees and generally living it large. Shaka's love of food was legendary and boy could he cook a good steak! One of the funniest things that happened was the way he heard the Portuguese for 'thank you' - obrigado - as 'boogazzi!'. Boogazzi became the way we always greeted each other from then on. Boogazzi baby!

But now he's gone and he's left so many devastated friends behind him. My heart especially goes out to his mother.

Shaks, I miss you man.

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