YouTube tribute following death of 18-year-old Louis Mafienga gets thousands of views

Music videos on YouTube paying tribute to a former Seven Kings pupil who died aged just 18 years old have gained more than 10,000 views.

The two videos are of the song If I Die Young, which was written and performed by friends of Louis Mafienga, a pupil at The Palmer Catholic Academy in Aldborough Road South, who died in November.

Rapper Jonathan Kabamba, aka Rychus Ryter, 22, of Chadwell Heath, who won the Recorder’s Young Citizen Award in March, performed a rap version of the American country tune with three other friends of the teenager.

He said Louis, of Asquith Close, Dagenham, died in his sleep and that the cause of death is not known.

An inquest was opened and adjourned at Walthamstow Coroners’ Court on November 27 and no further date for the inquest has yet been set.


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Rychus said: “We did it to show appreciation of him and love. It’s something that’s really affected everyone in the area.

“He was into music and he loved to dance. He went with a lot of love.”

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The song includes the lyrics “words can’t express what’s in my heart and how I feel” and has drawn comments of remembrance for Louis including “true gentleman” and “gone but never forgotten”.

His sister Beverly wrote: “There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not missing you.”

Rychus, who won the monthly Young Citizen award for his work spreading a message of hope to young people through music, also helped to organise a football match to remember the teenager.

Louis regularly joined football games in Seven Kings Park and to reflect his love of the sport, friends and family gathered for a match at Barking Football Club, Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, last month.

The tribute game raised �500 for his family, with youth players from Watford and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs taking part.

A minute’s silence was also held.

Rychus said: “We all knew him from school. He was a family friend. He was a good lad.”

One version of the video, showing Louis’ funeral, currently has 5,918 views, while the other has 4,686 views.

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