Eleven lifeless Africans who were found on a boat off the coast of Barbados in April 2006 were immortalized today with a headstone at Westbury Cemetery.
Ten of the 11 were buried at Westbury in January 2011, with Muslim and Roman Catholic prayer leaders officiating at the funeral.
They were among 55 would-be immigrants from Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Gambia who left Cape Verde on Christmas Day 2005, having paid a mysterious Spanish man the euro equivalent of about $2,950 to take them to the Canary Islands in search of a better life.
A series of mishaps resulted in their deaths, the majority of them believed to have been tossed overboard by the raging Atlantic Ocean.
Present at this morning’s ceremony were local pan Africanists, representatives from the Muslim community, the Catholic church and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Ndaje Senegal Association from Guadeloupe, which funded the headstone.
Coordinator of the event Modou Diagne told Barbados TODAY the unveiling of the headstone was significant, particularly because February is black history month.
“It is even more significant at this specific time of African Awareness Month. The marking of the graveyard is important because it is a reminder of what has happened there and who is buried there,” Diagne said.