‘I’m going to save her, I have to save her’ were his final words as he jumped into River Thames to rescue an unnamed woman who fell from London Bridge. She and another man who had jumped in with Jimi were luckily rescued by river authorities in the end, but Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole wasn’t so lucky, unfortunately, at 5.46am his body was recovered, at about six hours later.
Rendering hearts in homage, we pay tribute to a real hero! Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, 20, an epitome of bravery, selflessness and kindness.
As humans, the brutal reality of not been bestowed the luxury of a life duplicate wires us by default to hold dearly unto survival instinct, albeit somewhat selfishly, understandably of course, which comes to fore in virtually everything we do. Unlike the make believe world where superheroes with supernatural powers – mostly resistant to death are revered and praised for their “selflessness”, in today’s modern world, defying the odds before our very eyes we’ve seen rare unbelievable instances where ordinary people courageously pull of extraordinary deeds, putting on invisible capes and putting their life on the line while trying to save others. Not driven by the glory or fame like most self-serving folks who take on the “hero” tag, but true heroes, distinguished and admired for their noble qualities, uncommon courage and brave acts without any benefit to them, the latter just gained another noble addition.
Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, simply known as Jimi, on Saturday night, April 24th was on his way home from work at a central London restaurant when he and his friend Bernard Kosia, were approached by two men who showed them a video of a woman “jumping over the bridge”.
He said they called 999 and heard a woman shouting “I’m dying, I’m dying” but could not see anything because it was “pitch black”.
Nature called; Kosia who couldn’t swim stayed behind while Olubunmi-Adewole and another man desperately wanted to help and went into the water at about midnight in efforts to rescue the woman. Thought of self didn’t even cross mind.
Describing Olubunmi-Adewole as a “hero”, Kosia told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Jimi was adamant, for some reason, that he didn’t care [about himself]. He didn’t think twice as to what was going to happen.
Recalling the horrific moment, Kosia said:
“I just remember him saying, ‘Bernard, I have to save her, I’m going to save her’,” Kosia told the ITV program. According to him, he heard his friend shouting his name “but the shout wasn’t normal, it was pain”.
In a deeply unforgettable devastating ironic twist, Folajimi the rescuer, heartbreakingly lost his life while trying to save another.
“To risk your life in such a way, you don’t see that every day.
“And the fact that he was adamant to save that woman, it just shows his nature and his mindset.”
“Jimi means a lot to everyone, especially around south London now. Everyone knows him as a neighborhood hero.” His friend Bernard Kosia, added.
“The circumstances of this incident are extremely tragic.” Detective Chief Superintendent Oliver Shaw, from City of London Police, was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile bereaved parents Michael Adewola and Olasunkanmi Adewole, couldn’t hold back tears as they paid tribute to their loving son. They also lent their voices to the campaign for Folajimi to be awarded by the British government with a posthumous George Cross for his heroic act.
Speaking, Michael Adewola told Good Morning Britain: “I want the government to honour him because Jimi was a good soul to me.
“I want the government to do something … so that his name cannot vanish forever.”
Describing his son as “the breadwinner of the house”, he said he was “always taking care of me and my wife and his friends”.
He also expressed gratitude to all those who have supported a GoFundMe page set up to help the family, which raised around 100,000 pounds ($138,000) by Tuesday.
Earlier, there were reports that the couple had aired thoughts about believing the length of the search for their son in the water was “not enough” and that they “want justice” for him. But speaking on the tragic incident, Detective Chief Superintendent Oliver Shaw, from City of London Police, said in part:
“Our officers arrived extremely quickly to the scene but two members of the public had already entered the water.
“One man had managed to swim to the woman and they were both seen above water by the coastguard. Sadly, there was no sign of the other rescuer.
“We remained on scene to assist the marine units and police helicopter with the search in the water. This was stood down by the coastguard over an hour later.
“We continued to search the shore of the river, in person and using our network of CCTV cameras, and, unfortunately, at 5.46am a body was discovered.
Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, forever in our hearts, proudly takes his places amongst the greatest heroes that ever liveth.
Gone but never forgotten!