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Jul 23, 2015

Ride For Hunger Remembers Kareem Clarke

In the early hours of July sixth, journalist Kareem Clarke was gunned down as he rode his bike down Vernon Street. To date, his tragic murder remains unsolved, just one of many in a city turned war-zone. But the young reporter’s memory has been kept alive by his family and friends, colleagues and all whose lives were touched by his humility, dedication and talent as a writer and story-teller. This Sunday, for example, he will be remembered with affection and respect by those who participate in Dara’s Annual Ride for Hunger, in which he was a fixture. Organizer Joel ‘Dara’ Robinson told News Five today that he will pay tribute to the youth whose life was cut short. Kareem’s bike, the one he was on when he was killed and which still carries his bloodstains, will ride once again.

 

Joel ‘Dara’ Robinson

Joel ‘Dara’ Robinson, Organizer, Ride for Hunger

“The first time Kareem Clarke interviewed me I remember he said these exact words…he said Dara before I decided to join Amandala and KREM you were one of the persons I always watched your stories and listened so when he got the break to interview me he said it was an honour. And I felt good for this young guy telling me these things, and he proved it because he didn’t wait for anybody else to get me when I used to go to KREM again. Even if he heard I was on another radio station when you come down the first person you see with a recorder was Kareem. You understand? But besides just following my story he also participated in my ride, he used to come to my concert. I have clips where Kareem was riding with his knapsack on his back, with his camera. He enjoyed himself. He used to ride ahead of the ride and meet you and interview you and we became close friends like that, you understand. He was a man of his word. If he said he would get something done it doesn’t matter…he would. I have texts in my phone where we arranged the same week when they killed him to do an interview for this same purpose but sad, di man gawn. And still it’s bugging even to talk about it because I neva know da bredda deh as anybody weh talk violent…always happy. You wouldn’t even know when kareem has problems. And for him to be gunned down in that way…something wrong bredda!”

 

Kareem Clarke

Reporter

“You have decided to pay special tribute to Kareem for all that he meant to you and to the ride…”

 

Joel ‘Dara’ Robinson

“Well first I told his mom I didn’t know how to do and to make everybody feel the spirit of Kareem on the ride. I got the vision…the bike, and I went and asked his mom if I could use the bike to ride it. The plan was to ride it. But the feeling from his house to here to ride the bike was not a nice feeling. So I said I had to get another idea. So I said I would decorate the bike, put a picture of Kareem and this bike is going on the trailer with the music. This will be right at the front of the ride as my tribute and my respect to Kareem. Because you in the media I know you feel it because of him, and to me something was special about that youth because the country felt his death, and if we don’t continue to bring up his story and continue to touch it just like the others, nothing will come out of it…just another life gone like that, you understand. So I am paying tribute to Kareem. He will always be in my heart. I might not be able to do it every year to just take his bike, but this one is special.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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