Home Crime Her name was Elianne Andam

Her name was Elianne Andam

Her death is a senseless tragedy, that should only be in plays.

This is the tragic story of Croydon’s Elainne Andam whose life came to an end on 27/09/2023. She was of Ghanaian descent born to a Christian writer father Michael Andam and NHS safeguarding nurse mother Dorcas Andam.

Many women dream of having a little girl to share their tips, tricks, joys and sorrows of womanhood.

Many men dream of having a little girl, they can pamper, protect and love on deeply.

Elianne Andam’s parents were even luckier to give birth to such a mesmerisingly beautiful daughter inside and out. She was intelligent, ambitious with dreams to become a lawyer, with a sense of humour, according to Anthony King a youth worker who said others said she was ‘jovial, very comedic’. Marian her aunt said, “She was a lovely girl, loved doing her hair”. Elianne also loved gymnastics. She was a girl with many friends who loved her. She was selfless, courageous and kind, she died helping her friend live. That is the most heart-wrenching part of this story.

It is alleged the argument started on the bus on her way to her 20,000 pound-a-year private girls’ secondary school, the Old Palace of John Whitgift School. It was between a friend of Elainne’s and her friend’s ex (the 17-year-old suspect who was arrested) about their breakup. He tried to give her friend flowers and a note which her friend refused, and their argument continued when they got off the bus and on the pavement. Elianne tried to defend her friend and got stabbed by the 17-year-old suspect. The bus driver and other witnesses tried their best to save her, but the injuries proved fatal.

In a statement a spokesperson for Elianne’s family said on Thursday: 

“Our hearts are broken by the senseless death of our daughter.

“Elianne was the light of our lives. She was bright and funny, with many friends who all adored her.

“She was only 15, and had her whole life ahead of her, with hopes and dreams for the future.

“All those dreams have now been shattered. Our lives have fallen apart, along with that of our wider family.”

Bishop Rosemarie Mallett read this on behalf of the family on Thursday.

The statement said: “We as a family are struggling to comprehend this painful tragedy that has happened to our beautiful daughter and beloved sister Elianne. Our hearts are broken. And we are overwhelmed by sorrow and grief. Our faith in the Lord is strengthening us.

We would like to express our gratitude to those who have taken the time to send us thoughtful and compassionate messages and prayers. We kindly ask for your consideration to also respect our need for privacy as we attempt to come to grips with our deeply devastating loss.

“Elianne was a beautiful person inside and out who loved Jesus. She was intelligent, thoughtful, kind, and had a bright future ahead of her. It is our request that you keep our cherished daughter Elianne and our family in your thoughts and prayers.”

This is a reminder to teach our young people the importance of healthy relationships. That there is always time to fall in love and there’s no rush, especially in their teenage years. To teach our girls their obsessions with the ‘bad boy’ can land them in serious trouble. To teach our boys that ‘no means no’ and that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

This young boy who stabbed Elianne shouldn’t have been walking around with a knife. Where have we gone wrong as a society that a boy who should have been excited to go to school, work, an apprenticeship, or be doing something useful, looking forward to a bright future was so hung up on a young lady rejecting his advances, that he kills her friend?

Where have we gone wrong that a 15-year-old girl who should be prioritising her safety, education, and having fun, even if she decided to be in a relationship, it should have been with a healthy young man, thought it wise to engage in a relationship with someone this unstable? Where have we gone wrong that a young lady Elianne with her whole life ahead of her pays the price for their relationship gone wrong? I asked these questions because it’s high time we as a community asked where is the village that is raising our children. Why are our children out there killing each other over nothing? We can blame whoever we want to blame, but the point still stands our children in our communities are dying.

 It’s high time we take responsibility for raising and disciplining them. Sometimes we must tell them they are wrong while instilling into them, that they can be and do anything, and achieve anything but it takes discipline, hard work, and character. If we continue to give into this narrative that they have a right to be disruptive because of certain societal ills (which they do face like discrimination, inequality, etc.) we are doing them a disservice.

Also, let us stop disturbing our young girls with marriage. I remember being in secondary school and some girls made fun of me because I didn’t know how to talk to boys. They asked him how I would ever get married and no man will ever want me because I don’t know how to flirt. We have young girls playing dress rehearsal on how to be sexy, and cute, wearing makeup, and dressing up to be grown for boys to prepare for marriage and future relationships. For teenagers, the girls who get boyfriends are the IT girls. It is even more hip and cool to date an ‘older guy’. The ‘bad boys’ are the fantasy of a lot of girls.

We are making relationships too important to young girls who should be focusing on finding who they are, studying, and having fun. We also need to let our young people know some friendships are dangerous, a friend who likes to involve themselves in activities they shouldn’t be involved in shouldn’t be their friend. We need to let them know adults can save friends in toxic situations children cannot. Most of all, activities that young people shouldn’t be involved in are not cool. We need to make that clear to them. It’s dangerous.

We need to stop teaching our boys, to be a bully, impolite, not taking no for an answer, being disrespectful, and seeing girls only as sexual objects. As well as being ready to fight and be violent to prove one’s manhood doesn’t make you a man. This toxic masculinity being celebrated by our young men must stop. It’s not cool. It’s not cool that it limits their progress, makes them commit atrocious crimes, be domestically violent, less empathetic, and ruins their potential as well as leaves them in pain, unable to be their full human glorious selves. We need to let our young boys know crying and having emotions is very manly and manhood isn’t about control, numbness and rage.

I think we also need to teach our children they cannot, and neither should they be the ones saving the day. They should run for shelter and look for safety the minute someone comes out with a weapon. There is an African proverb when a mad man takes your cloth do not run after him. There is no negotiation with senseless violence. Which is what this case was. It is the job of the police to deal with violence, it is not their job to put themselves in harm’s way and stop it. The right call is to try and get to safety and call the ones who are meant to deal with crime.

Our children shouldn’t be martyrs for a society that has failed to take responsibility for educating, protecting, shielding, and disciplining our children. 

How many more mothers and fathers won’t be “grey when they bury their babies” to this senseless knife violence? How many more families will shattered “by the sharp knife of a short life” of their loved one? 

Lastly, I want to say rest in peace and power to the beautiful brave Elianne Andam and send my deepest condolences to her family during this devastating time. 

“The ballad of a dove goes with peace and love” Elaine Andam we send you away with the words of “a love song”.

The Quotes in the last three paragraphs are from the song “If I Die Young”.