Two Nottingham mums whose sons were stabbed to death are involved in a new music video which they hope will shine a light on the knife crime plague haunting the city.
Sarah Wallace, 53, and Julie Jones, 54, of Radford, will hold up pictures of their sons in the new video Street Struggles which is set to go live on January 1.
Youth organisation The Chayah Project in St Ann’s are behind the new song, which is performed by up and coming rap artist Eli’sha Lloyd.
The anti-knife video is aimed at young people and was created after a number of city centre stabbings during the pandemic including one outside the Victoria Centre.
Mrs Jones’ son Ezekiel Clarke, 17, died after a frenzied attack in Churchfield Lane, Radford, next to the Castle Retail Park on February 19 this year.
A 16-year-old, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of murder, and was also found guilty of robbery and the possession of a bladed article in a separate incident.
He was given a life sentence in detention with a minimum term of 13 years to serve before he can apply for parole.
Jaheim Williams, 19, of Trafalgar Close, Radford, was also locked up for manslaughter for seven-and-a-half years in detention in a young offenders’ institution.
But 10 months on, his heartbroken mum still doesn’t know why her son was brutally killed, a thought that doesn’t leave her mind to this day.
She told Nottinghamshire Live: “Christmas is going to harder because he is the noise in the house.
“I remember him as funny, kind-hearted and he would help everyone.
“The people that did this to him were people he knew and still to this day we don’t know why they had a disagreement with him. You can’t make sense of it.
“It is a really hard experience, a shock to the system, I still think he is around. I have got a lot of family support but every day you cry, put your face on and then face the world.”
Mrs Jones said she will never forget February 19. She heard a knock on her kitchen window and thought it was Ezekiel who was prone to forgetting his keys.
But it was her neighbour.
“She said ‘your son has just been stabbed.’ I thought ‘he will be okay’ even though your legs are shaking.
“We just went around the corner where we live and it was all taped off. No one told me my son had died. I just heard ‘the doctors are working on him.’
“Police would not let us go through and be with him.”
Later on, she was told he had died at the hands of a knife.
“They would not let me see him until two days later. The hardest thing was not saying goodbye,” she said.
Mrs Jones has decided to take part in the music video to shine a light on a problem affecting Nottingham’s young people.
She also believes that mums who have lost their sons should be allowed into schools to talk to young children about the dangers of knives.
Her views are echoed by Mrs Wallace who was told on March 9, 2006, when her 20-year-old son, Daniel Williams, was killed on his way back from a takeaway.
he remembers at around 4am approaching the cordon in Norton Street to be greeted by police officers. The rest is a blank.
Cornelius Messam, 24, was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 16 years, in March 2007 after a jury convicted him of murder.
She told Nottinghamshire Live: “It is still raw especially at Christmas time. I get on a downward spiral at this time of year.
“I have been fighting the cause for so long and it still does not seem to be ringing home. It is getting worse.
“We need to get into schools now. We need mums who have lost children.
“I think it would be better if they hear it from someone who has lost someone to a serious crime.
“Knife crime is always about a third party. It is all to do with a girl or that person has upset that person and they are going to do something about it.”
Up and coming rap artist Eli’sha Lloyd is hoping his new song and video will be able to resonate with young people.
Originally from London, he has moved to Nottingham, filming his new music video in Top Valley and St Ann’s on Tuesday, December 15.
He said: “The Chayah Project said ‘they wanted to do an anti-knife crime video’ so I wrote the lyrics.
“There has been a lot of killings and stabbings and I felt compelled to be involved in this project.
“I also know a lot of people who have been victims of knife crime.
“We have got to go to the root of the problem; a lot of people are coming from broken homes and unstable lives. They express their pain.
“They need positive role models that can speak to the king in them rather than the pain in them because they gravitate towards the pain.”