"Jack"

– A MEMORIAL RAP SINGLE ONE YEAR ON FROM FISHMONGER’S HALL –

AMATEUR SINGER-SONGWRITER ROSCA ONYA CELEBRATES THE LIFE OF HIS FRIEND JACK MERRITT IN SONG

Jack

One year on from the terrorist attack that resulted in two tragic deaths on London Bridge (29.11.19), one of Jack Merritt’s closest friends, an amateur singer-songwriter, whom he met through Cambridge University’s ‘Learning Together’ programme, Rosca Onya, is launching ‘Jack’, a memorial rap single in Jack’s memory. Rosca is hoping to raise £5,000 before the end of the year for non-profit organisations Learning Together, Just for Kids Law (JfKL) and JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association), from sales of his poignant and heartfelt single.

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Rosca

Rosca, aged 29, was born one of nine children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Having witnessed inexplicable horrors as a child, Rosca and some of his siblings ended up without parents, moving from camp to camp within the refugee system, both in Africa and then in the UK. Two of his siblings tragically perished in unimaginable circumstances. His passion for music started in the refugee camps, where he would turn empty flour buckets upside down and drift away to another beat and another world in his head… the now-named ‘Rosca’s World’

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Remembering Jack

Rosca expressed from the heart: “I met Jack when I was in HM Prison Grendon, an amazing therapeutic prison that helped me to view life in a different way. When I came to the UK, I was nine; I had experienced so much terror in my short lifetime and had no emotional or life parachute. I didn’t have people around me I could trust. I ended up in prison because I got involved with a local gang – they made me feel like I belonged by night while I was being bullied at school by day. Whilst I deeply regret and now take ownership of my actions, I never would have met Jack otherwise. Jack wasn’t like most people I had known before – he didn’t see black or white, as I wrote in the lyrics of the song. We were both passionate about music and he helped me pass a Criminology course at Cambridge University.

“Through my therapy and study through Learning Together, even at my lowest point, after Jack died, I knew I had to keep his light shining. The only way I could and can do this is through our mutual love of music. I miss him so much and was en route to see him at Fishmonger’s Hall when I received the call about the attack. Jack’s parents are like family to me. They have welcomed me into their world. I only hope this single, part of Rosca’s World of music, can raise a lot of money. Now is my time to give back,” added Rosca.

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Jack’s parents

Dave and Anne Merritt, added: “Rosca met Jack in prison on the Learning Together course, and they became friends. Jack continued to support Rosca after his release from prison and he encouraged him to pursue a career in music. We first met Rosca at Jack’s funeral and we have stayed in touch ever since. Rosca told us about the profound influence Jack had on him, helping him to turn his back on the crime he had been into as a young man with a difficult background.

“After Jack died, Rosca was inspired to celebrate his friend in music and the song ‘Jack’ is a beautiful, fitting tribute to Jack and their friendship. We feel honoured to know Rosca, and we know Jack would be proud of him as we are. We love you, Rosca!”, added Jack’s parents.

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Jack’s parents are like family to me. They have welcomed me into their world. I only hope this single, part of Rosca’s World of music, can raise a lot of money. Now is my time to give back.

Rosca

Tribute to a friend

Jack, a tribute to my friend, will be released by Rosca and his sponsors, as a single on Saturday 14th November, priced 99p. Available to buy at Rosca’s world, www.roscasworld.com, and via Distrokid and iTunes to download, Rosca is committed to the power of human spirit and social justice, to help spread the word and support honourable causes. Please support this humble enterprise through sales and Like, Comment, Share and keep sharing on social media, in Jack’s memory.

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#iamjack #roscasworld #endterrorism

‘Jack’, the first rap single from Rosca’s World, launches on 14.11.20 and is priced at just 99p for the video download track! Many faces, some household names, have come together to support this campaign through video content and stating “I AM JACK” to camera. Names include Roger Black MBE, Lesley Joseph, Tom Conti and Michael Mansfield QC (who also features in the video), amongst others.

Contact

For media information, exclusives, the single download, interviews and artwork, please contact miranda leslau PR on 07912 644993 or via email at miranda@mirandaleslau.com.

Learning Together

‘Jack would be so proud of Rosca’s work in this song and so are we. In the face of tragedy, this song shows the Learning Together community standing together, determined to build a different future for everyone. We stand with them now and always, and ask everyone to stand with us. We can build a different future, together.’

Learning Together is a national and international network of higher education and criminal justice organisations, founded and run from the University of Cambridge. It builds learning communities that include people under criminal justice supervision and works to overcome the power structures, exclusions, and hierarchies that characterise many ‘traditional’ learning environments – both in prisons and in ‘mainstream’ education. The mission of Learning Together is to offer world leading higher education across the walls of prisons and universities, and through this, to build a community of change makers, mobilized to improve lives and systems.

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Just for Kids Law (JfKL)

Just for Kids Law (JfKL) is a UK charity that works with and for children and young people to hold those with power to account and fight for wider reform by providing legal representation and advice, direct advocacy and support, and campaigning to ensure children and young people in the UK have their legal rights and entitlements respected and promoted and their voices heard and valued.

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JENGbA

“Jack’s death reminded JENGbA just how important our young people are. More importantly his life should remind us all how “old ways don’t open new doors”. Fresh ideas and different approaches are what make a positive difference. True wisdom comes from trust and forgiveness and Jack Merritt had both in abundance.

“Upon Jack randomly meeting a JE prisoner whilst working in prison (Cambridge University’s Learning Together initiative) and hearing his story first-hand, Jack became interested and consequently very supportive of the prisoner personally. Moreover, Jack supported JENGbA and its fight to right (an admitted wrong turn Supreme Court (2016)) the law which we know has illegitimately convicted our ‘families’ of horrendous crimes that they did not commit. 

“Jack Merritt supported JENGbA in his lifetime and now, through Jack’s name and his legacy, thousands of family, friends and even work colleagues have taken up Jack’s beliefs and support JENGbA today! Jack Merritt has changed my whole outlook on life! And many others like me! Thank you, Jack!” 

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