More than £30,000 raised for poet who disappeared at music festival

todaySeptember 2, 2023 8

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Gboyega Odubanjo

Loved ones of poet Gboyega Odubanjo, who disappeared at a music festival, have raised more than £30,000 in his memory.

He was last seen at the Shambala music festival in Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire, at around 4am on Saturday August 26, having been invited to read poetry at the event the following day.

The 27-year-old’s family, friends and supporters from across the country launched a social media campaign and organised search parties in the area.

Police found a body during a nearby search operation on Thursday.

After the news, Mr Odubanjo’s family began a fundraiser in his memory which raised £32,331 in less than 24 hours.

The fundraiser, organised by Rose Odubanjo, described him as a “beloved son, brother and friend” whose life was “so suddenly cut short”.

It said part of the money would go to the Gboyega Odubanjo Foundation for low-income black writers, which is to be launched by his family.

“We, the close friends and loved ones of Gboyega, express our profound sadness and grief at the loss of one of our brightest and most talented stars,” it said.

“Gboyega was the source of incredible joy and laughter for all of us, and we are utterly heartbroken to hear that his life has been so suddenly cut short.

“Gboyega was inimitable. He will be remembered as a brilliant poet, inspiring friend, son and brother. He was incredibly talented; someone we will remain in awe of.”

The search effort, led by detectives, involved the use of dogs, police search advisers, neighbourhood and response officers, a dive team and volunteer members of Northamptonshire Search and Rescue.

Mr Odubanjo, from Bromley in south-east London, was studying for a PhD in creative writing at the University of Hertfordshire.

He attended the festival with friends and became separated from them in the early hours of Saturday.

His work has appeared in the Guardian, the Poetry Review and the New Statesman, while his first collection of poems, Adam, is due to be published next summer, his family said.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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