North West Migrants Forum

North West Migrants Forum stands in solidarity with Takura Makoni

THE North West Migrants Forum has added its voice to the outpouring of condemnation that has followed the targeting of Takura Makoni.

Takura (pictured above), who works with our ally organisation African and Caribbean Support Organisation in Northern Ireland (ACSONI), has moved house after anti-immigrant signs were put up in the area of south Belfast where he lived. His home was then sprayed with hate-motivated graffiti.

Takura has lived in Northern Ireland for more than 20 years, five of them spent in the Finaghy area of Belfast.

The news that he has had to leave his home comes days after the Zimbabwean was a key contributor to the North West Migrants Forum’s voluntary and community sector roundtable discussion in Ulster University, Belfast.

Chief Executive of the North West Migrants Forum, Lilian Seenoi Barr, said Takura has long been a voice for Northern Ireland’s black and minoritised communities. Mrs Barr said it was deeply disappointing that he and his family have been forced out of their home by a small section of the local community.

“We want to send our solidarity to Takura and his family at what is undoubtedly a stressful time for them.

The mis-spelt graffiti daubed at the home of the ACSONI policy officer. He and his family have now moved to a new location.

“It is despicable that a small number of people can intimidate someone in their home to the point where they no longer feel safe. And we are in no doubt that this intimidation was the work of a few individuals and that such views are not held by the wider Finaghy community.

“We stand with Takura, his family and all victims of such acts, offering our full support and condemning racism and discrimination in all its forms.

“The North West Migrants Forum is committed to promoting diversity, equality and respect within our communities and one of the calls that was made at our roundtable on Friday was for the prioritising of hate crime legislation and the implementation of the Racial Equality Strategy.

“We will continue to work towards a society where everyone feels safe, valued and accepted and we are proud to have Takura with us on that journey.”

Read Takura’s interview with the BBC here: Takura Makoni moves house after racial intimidation – BBC News