Two months to the day, after sharing a couple of Julebrews, we said au revoir, at Banjul airport, “see you in a couple of months“, to Simon Fenton (he was there to meet his family, coming from the UK, off the flight we were about to depart The Gambia on), we received a call, on Friday 26th May, one of those calls…, tragically Simon had died as the result of a car crash, just a few short hours before, in Senegal.
He truly was one of those wonderful human beings, who really lived his dreams, with his huge infectious smile and boundless excitement about life. Anyone who was fortunate to know Simon will pay testament to this.
For those of you that did not have the pleasure of meeting him – then, thankfully, he left two great books behind about his life in Africa… ‘Squirting Milk at Chameleons‘ and ‘Chasing Hornbills: Up to My Neck in Africa‘.
If you are able to contribute to the JustGiving page (any amount will be gratefully appreciated): ‘All donations go directly to his brother and sister-in-law’s account and will be used to cover some of the hospital costs incurred during his all-too-brief treatment, transport costs and his funeral costs in Abene, Senegal. Anything left over will be to support his wife, Khady, and their two young boys.’ Mike Webster/JustGiving
Sending much love, condolences, and support to Khady, Gulliver, Alfie, and all of Simon’s family.
Rest in peace, mate, we miss you already.
‘In the mid-1940’s as the German’s blitzed London, my grandmother and her neighbors used clothes to blackout the light emitting from their windows so as not to guide the Luftwaffe on their deadly mission…’ In the mid-90’s, unbeknown to him at the time, Jason Florio began to use the very same blackout curtain, which his grandmother used during the World War 11, as a backdrop to various portrait collections. Read & see more on Florio’s website
‘We met this very talented musician who just happened to walk past our campsite, by the side of the road, in the village of Chamois Bunda, The Gambia.
He played us his own music on the boom box that he carried everywhere. He even performed a nifty little dance for us too! His music was amazing – like Bluegrass, with a twist of Cuban influence. We hadn’t heard any music for a while, by that point, on our walk around the small West African country. Therefore, it was a real treat to hear such great music. What a talented young man he was. This photo, and the memory which it evokes, still makes me smile. ‘
Helen Jones-Florio – excerpt from ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey‘ blog