Remembering Tosin

I’ve only just heard of Tosin Olusoga’s passing.

Whilst I can’t claim to have had the pleasure of knowing him as well as his friends and family, I just wanted to share my memory of him.
I was standing as the Labour candidate for Gainsborough at the last election. I noticed on our membership list that we had a 17 year-old member at De Aston. 

I finally met him and it turned out that he was going to stand for Labour too – in his school mock election.  I gave him some tips – I suggested a pledge card – but I don’t think he needed it. 
Tosin was a humble and warm person who I hear was loved by teachers and fellow pupils alike.So much so that come Mock Election Day in a staunchly Tory, he did much better than me! He won years 12 and 13, drew year 11 and only lost out from winning out overall by 33 votes!

The last time I saw him, was at De Aston to speak to the Sixth Form days before our elections.

At the end, I made a beeline to him. He was surrounded by his campaign team so I used my selfie stick to capture the moment.

I understand he interned at the House of Commons was studying politics at the UEA.

I have no doubt that his passion for social justice and helping others would have led him to stand for election again. And I bet next time he would have won.

I was hoping to see Tosin when I spoke at De Aston’s speech and awards day last year but he couldn’t make it.

But the words I read out that day could sum up Toisin and his short life.

President Teddy Roosevelt once said: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

In his 19 years, it seems Tosin was not a person to dwell in that grey twilight.

He was keen to live his life in a vivid and vibrant manner.

The challenge to all of us who met Tosin, is to paint the story of our lives in the same brilliant colours he would have gone on to do himself.

Rest In Peace Tosin.


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