A hero who died after he dived into the Thames to save a drowning woman has been honoured with a plaque.
Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, 20, was found dead six hours after going into the water near London Bridge in April 2021 to save a woman in difficulty.
The woman and Joaquim Garcia, another would-be rescuer, were saved from the river by coastguard and marine police but Jimi could not be found.
Friends and family gathered on the banks of the Thames on Sunday afternoon to watch the plaque be unveiled on the spot where Jimi jumped in to try and save the woman.
Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole, 20, jumped into the Thames to save a woman who was drowning in April 2021. He told his friend Bernard Kosia not to follow him, knowing he couldn’t swim
Bernard Kosia, a friend of Jimi’s, paid tribute to his friend and said it was important that children in their community learn of his sacrifice
Jimi’s friend, Bernard Kosia, a camera assistant at ITV, told GMB on Monday that he was grateful for all the support Jimi’s loved ones had received.
He described seeing the plaque to his friend for the first time as ‘surreal’ and thanked London Mayor Sadiq Khan for his assistance.
‘It was surreal. I actually froze or a minute just to admire the plaque itself. I am so grateful to everyone that’s been a part of this journey, supporting us in every way.
‘And I am more grateful to Sadiq Khan for being a massive part of us during the course of this.’
Mr Kosia, who was with Jimi on the night he died but did not follow him into the water because he cannot swim, finds it difficult to speak about the accident.
The plaque near London Bridge, where Jimi raced down the steps to the waterside to try and save the woman
Friends and family gathered for the unveiling ceremony, which was also attended by London Mayor Sadiq Khan
Jimi’s mother, Olasunkanmi Adewole, said her son was a hero and that she was grateful for the support she had received
He said he was delighted that his friend’s legacy would live on and that children in their community would have a chance to learn about Jimi.
‘I just want to make sure that he can live on, even when I am dead and my life here is finished, Jimi now has a way and a legacy to live on. Kids within the community who want to know the story, this is their way of knowing who Jimi is and what he did for everyone.’
He paid tribute to his friend, who he said was a role model and was widely respected by his community.
‘Jimi was a bubbly person, a loving person. You could hear Jimi miles away and just know it was him. He was just that guy in the neighbourhood that everyone loved. Positive – and that was his mindset.
‘The things that he would teach you, he’d never say it but you’d watch him and how he lived his life and it would make you want to live by that way too.
‘So one thing that he never did was care about people’s opinions. That’s one rule that he lived by. You could make a judgement on him but he’d just bypass that s**t, just push it aside.
‘He said: “I am me and this is me.”
The unveiling ceremony, which was organised by the Living Bankside Charity, was attended by many of Jimi’s family and friends
But Mr Kosia also admitted that he still struggles with talking about his friend but said he finds peace in the support he has received.
‘I find it hard to speak on my emotions and I don’t really speak much about what goes through my mind or how I live my life. And everyone sees from the outside, yeah, he’s positive and everything. But behind closed doors I do have my days where I am emotional.
‘Other than that just seeing how everything has come out and how everything has played out, I find peace within it and as time goes by I am slowly actually gaining the strength.’
Jimi’s mother, who regularly visits the spot, told BBC Newsbeat at the unveiling on Sunday that she was grateful for the recognition of Jimi’s bravery.
‘Jimi is a hero and that’s why everyone has come here today. I’m so grateful.’
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who also attended the ceremony, organised by the Living Bankside charity, described Jimi as ‘the best of all of us’.
‘His parents’ pain will never go away, but we can make it easier by talking about Jimi’s story.’