Migrant whose Salford home was daubed with racist graffiti says he still feels UK is ‘paradise’

‘No blacks’ was sprayed onto Theo Baya’s front door five days after he moved in

Tim Wyatt
Monday 18 February 2019 17:01 GMT
The racist message was daubed on Jackson Yamba's front door five days after they moved into the flat in Salford
The racist message was daubed on Jackson Yamba's front door five days after they moved into the flat in Salford

A man whose front door was daubed with racist graffiti has said he still thinks Britain is “paradise”, even after it took police more than a week to respond.

Five days after Theo Baya moved into a flat in Salford with his friend Jackson Yamba and Mr Yamba’s ten-year-old son David they found “no blacks” had been sprayed on their door.

It was reported to the police on 8 February, but no officers came to see the men until Mr Yamba posted a picture of the “abhorrent racist graffiti” on Twitter.

“My front door in Salford was painted over a week ago with this abhorrent racist graffiti – after reporting it to @gmpolice they still haven’t been here to investigate. How do I assure my traumatised 10-year-old that he is safe in his home,” Mr Yamba said.

But despite their ordeal, Mr Baya said British people had a more “mature” attitude to people from other ethnic backgrounds than countries such as France or Belgium.

“It is the first time this has happened to me,” he said.

“Before I was in Belgium and France and people there are not as mature in their attitudes.

“For me the UK is paradise. I still believe people in the UK are more mature and fair than in Belgium and France.”

After Mr Yamba’s tweets went viral online, the chief constable of Greater Manchester and local politicians became involved.

A senior police officer visited the flat and the graffiti has subsequently been cleaned off by the housing association which runs the development.

Mr Baya said he assumed the people who spray painted the door were simply ignorant.

“They may be stereotyping black people, we are both educated, we were both solicitors in Africa.

“It is ignorance, a lack of education.”

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Greater Manchester Police has apologised for the delay, which they said was down to a lack of officers available, and the pair have become a cause celebre.

The local rugby team, the Salford Red Devils, have invited them to be special guests at an upcoming match and a crowdfunding campaign has raised almost £2,000 in just one day.

The money will be given to Mr Baya and Mr Yamba to help them replace their door, or be spent on “whatever they choose”, the man behind the crowdfunder, Mark Donne, said.

In response to the messages, Mr Yamba tweeted: “I am really grateful for the amount of support across the country.

“There is no word to describe my gratefulness. My son and I want to thank you all.”

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