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Remembering Harry Uzoka

Harry Uzoka was a successful model – a hard line of work to stay in. Fashions, for faces as well as clothes, change quickly.

However, Harry had lasted the best part of a decade. He had been booked for jobs that black male models had struggled to get in the past.

At 25, he knew he had been through a good run and made a good living, but he was starting to explore the idea of doing something else – writing a film and launching a magazine that would celebrate black excellence.

Life was good. His girlfriend Ruby Campbell was also a model. They had flown to St Lucia for Christmas, the first truly big holiday he had ever been on.

He was building a house for his mother, Josephine, in her home country Nigeria, where she planned to return.

However, on Thursday 11 January 2018, all this ended.

Harry lay on the pavement, his body punctured with knife wounds. One was to the heart and the paramedics and doctors could not save him.

At 5pm, on the cold concrete outside his home in Shepherds Bush in west London, he was declared dead. A confrontation with another male model, which lasted only a couple of minutes, had taken everything.

By the time he was 18, Harry had modelled for Nike. He went on to work for brands such as Zara, Asos, Pull & Bear, and Jack Wills.

“Harry provided a platform for black male models to come through in a way they had not previously in London,” says Tytiah Blake, a casting director from London.

“A lot of success in the industry is linked to your personality – if you don’t have charm, it can be difficult to break through. Harry had that balance of looks and the personality.”

Nigerian-British writer and stylist Ayishat Akanbi worked with Harry and knew him as a friend.

“Harry represented possibilities to many young working-class black boys. Modelling isn’t the type of industry we are often encouraged to go into, especially within young male culture.

“I think Harry reminded young men in particular that it is OK to be delicate.

“Charming, curious, adorable and kind-hearted are words that come to mind when I think of Harry.”

TNT Lifestyle

Photo Credit: harryuzoka

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