Candlelit vigil for Elianne Andam: Thousands gather in Croydon to honour the life of 15-year-old stabbing victim

People at the vigil. Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Thousands gathered in Croydon to hold a vigil for Elianne, the 15-year-old girl who was brutally stabbed outside Whitgift Shopping Centre on her way to school last week. Many wore clothes with ‘a touch of white’ and carried a candle for the event.

Grime artist Stormzy, from Croydon, joined Elianne’s family at the ceremony, shedding tears as the choir sang Amazing Grace. Councillors from all parties also attended.

Stormzy at the vigil. Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Dorcas Andam, Elianne’s mother, described Elianne as “just a normal teenager” with ambitions to become a lawyer. “I can’t believe we won’t be seeing her again. I can’t believe she won’t be around to complain about her teenage activities,” she said.

“We should be planning her prom after year 11,” she said. “It was a sad day for the whole family, now we are planning her funeral.”

Those attending the vigil then held a two-minute silence holding candles and flashlights.

People held their candles or flashlights in the moments of silence. Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Reverend Denzil Labi, one of Elianne’s cousins, addressed the crowds, warning young people against gang activities. “Elianne is 15 years old and she has left her legacy,” he said. “Think about your life and your legacy. Gang involvement: I’ve seen so many people die because of it, is that the legacy you want to leave?”

Dawn Butler, one of the MPs who attended last night’s vigil, posted on X: “This is the time. Change must come”.

The suspect, a 17-year-old boy, will face a murder trial on April 29 of next year.

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