Mother-of-two who died in Brixton Academy crush was an autism campaigner who offered parenting tips on TikTok: Death of ‘adorable’ nursing graduate, 33, leaves her two young children now facing Christmas without her as tributes continue to pour in
- Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, died in hospital yesterday after being injured in a crush
- She leaves two children, one of whom has autism, a week before Christmas
- Mother-of-two is described as a ‘beautiful woman who radiated positive energy’
- Two others remain in critical condition after the incident at Brixton 02 Academy
- The crush unfolded during Nigerian singer Asake’s concert on Thursday evening
An ‘adorable’ single mother who died on Saturday following a crush outside Brixton O2 Academy was an autism campaigner who offered parenting tips for other parents of autistic children on Tiktok.
Tributes have flooded in for Rebecca Ikumelo, 33, from Newham, east London, who leaves behind her two young children just a week before Christmas.
She died in hospital on Saturday after being critically injured in the crush which unfolded during Nigerian artist Asake’s concert on Thursday.
Friends have described her as a ‘beautiful woman who radiated positive energy and was dedicated to being the best version of herself for her kids’.
Rebecca Ikumelo (pictured), 33, from Newham, east London, died in hospital after being critically injured in the crush which unfolded during Nigerian artist Asake’s concert on Thursday
Rebecca pictured with her two boys shortly before her death
The Metropolitan Police said two other women, aged 21 and 23, remain in a critical condition. Asake has said he is ‘praying’ for those injured.
Ms Ikumelo leaves behind two sons, Jamael and Joelle. The single mother worked as a nursing associate in sexual health until her older child was diagnosed with autism in 2020.
She then took a break from nursing and began spending more time with her children, documenting her son’s development after his autism diagnosis.
Just a few days before her death, she spoke on a podcast about societal attitudes towards children with autism.
Describing an incident in which a relative told her her son was ‘naughty’, Rebecca said: ‘I said: “He’s not naughty, he’s autistic”, and then she was like “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know.”
‘But my thing with that is that even when people talk about how they’re in the supermarket and people make ignorant comments and stuff, and then they say they’re autistic and the other person quickly changes [what they say].
‘It shouldn’t have to come to that. You shouldn’t be trying to discipline someone else’s child or putting in your two pence.’
In a statement, Rebecca’s family said: ‘Rebecca was a graduate of nursing. She was an adorable mother of two children who loved working with kids.
‘She was well respected in the family for her care, kindness and love. Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning “Lord is Worthy”.’
Rebecca posted frequently about her children’s ‘autism journey’ as she shared milestones and advice to her more than 13,000 TikTok followers.
Rebecca Ikumelo shared everyday moments with her children to her followers, such as helping with homework, to help raise awareness of autism
Rebecca filmed parts of her life as she supported her two young children, who she says she brought up ‘to be independent’
The Metropolitan Police said two other women, aged 21 and 23, remain in a critical condition. Asake has said he is ‘praying’ for those injured.Video footage shows a large crowd gathered outside the Brixton O2 Academy on Thursday
Hey everyone 🥰 I uploaded this yesterday but for some reason it got deleted 🤦🏾♀️ hope everyone is having a good week so far ❤️ #specialneeds #momsoftiktok #mumgroup #fyp
She shared everyday moments with her two sons, such as doing her autistic son’s hair and tracking him learning to communicate verbally.
She told her followers he had made ‘huge progress’ since she stopped nursing, and would frequently start conversations about the benefits of mainstream schooling versus SEN schooling and mental health.
In the aftermath of her death, fans posted touching tributes to Rebecca and her boys.
One said: ‘The fact that he could have had her there to support him and look after him while he grows up, but instead she was taken from him way too soon.
‘This poor baby has lost his best support system and his best friend, I pray that he will be okay and be strong.’
Another wrote: ‘My heart is in pieces for these boys. God why?? Such a [tragedy]. I’m lost for words.’
A third added: ‘This has truly saddened me of her loss. Seeing her show her motherhood story with us and advocate so much for her children.’
Nigerian artist Asake said he was ‘devastated’ and ‘overwhelmed with grief’ after hearing the news of Ms Ikumelo’s death.
In a statement posted on Instagram, Asake said: ‘I am devastated by the news that Rebecca Ikumelo who was in a critical condition since Thursday has sadly passed away.
‘My sincerest condolences to her loved ones at this time. Let us please keep her family in our prayers. I have spoken to them and will continue to do so.
‘I am overwhelmed with grief and could never have imagined anything like this happening.
‘My team and I are still awaiting the full debrief back from the Venue management and the Police to determine what exactly led to all the disruption caused and ultimately to Rebecca’s passing.
‘If you have any relevant information relating to this please do reach out to the Metropolitan Police.’
Nigerian star Asake’s (pictured) concert descended into chaos after fans were filmed clashing with police outside Brixton’s O2 Academy
In a statement, Rebecca’s family said: ‘Rebecca was a graduate of nursing. She was an adorable mother of two children who loved working with kids’
Friends have described the single mother and autism campaigner (pictured) as a ‘beautiful woman who radiated positive energy and was dedicated to being the best version of herself for her kids’
‘She was well respected in the family for her care, kindness and love. Her parents call her Tosin (short for Oluwatosin) meaning ‘Lord is Worthy’.’
The Met Police said specialist officers are providing support to the family of Rebecca Ikumelo and that a post-mortem examination will be held today at Greenwich Public Mortuary.
The 33-year-old had 13.4k followers on TikTok and 1.15k on YouTube and used her platform to raise awareness about autism.
Author Toni Tone shared a picture of Ms Ikumelo on Twitter along with the tribute: ‘This photo was taken the day I last saw Rebecca.
‘She was a beautiful woman who radiated positive energy and was dedicated to being the best version of herself for her kids. She also did so much to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder. My heart goes out to her family.’
Dozens of people who had watched her content on TikTok also shared tributes to the mother-of-two.
One fan wrote: ‘Rebecca Ikumelo was one of the sweetest people on tiktok. I’m not a tiktok fan but I really liked her content. She was a mother to an autistic child and shared tips on how to parent autistic children. This is devastating. Rest in heaven Rebecca.’
The 33-year-old had 13.4k followers on TikTok and 1.15k on YouTube and used her platform to raise awareness about autism
Dozens of people who had watched her content on TikTok also shared tributes to the mother-of-two
Ms Ikumelo leaves behind two sons, Jamael and Joelle. The single mother worked as a nursing associate in sexual health until her older child was diagnosed with autism in 2020
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said City Hall is in contact with venues and authorities across the capital to make sure ‘nothing like this happens again’.
‘I am heartbroken by the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo who has very sadly died following the awful events on Thursday night in Brixton,’ he said.
‘Rebecca had her whole life ahead of her and on behalf of all Londoners, I would like to extend my condolences to her family, friends and loved ones at this extremely difficult time.’
Academy Music Group, which owns and runs music venues across the UK, said in a statement: ‘All at O2 Academy Brixton and Academy Music Group are deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Rebecca Ikumelo.
‘We send our heartfelt condolences to Rebecca’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this devastating news at this extremely difficult time.’
In a statement outside Brixton police station yesterday afternoon, Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove said an ‘urgent investigation’ was under way into the incident, which occurred when hordes of ticketless fans forced entry into the iconic south London music venue. He said one person had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.
The scene outside the Brixton O2 Academy in south London yesterday morning
Singer Asake said in a statement on social media he was ‘devastated’ at the news of the fan’s death
Chief Superintendent Wingrove, policing commander for Lambeth and Southwark, added: ‘I’d like to extend my sympathies to all those who have been affected. Having seen some of the really upsetting images on social media our thoughts are with them.
‘An urgent investigation is currently under way led by detectives from our Specialist Crime Command and cordons remain in place as officers continue to work at the scene. This is still a fast moving and evolving picture and we are working to establish the events that led up to the incident.
‘We are also aware of a vast amount of footage on social media and of course this will be examined as part of the investigation along with footage from officers’ body worn video cameras.
The crush occurred when hordes of ticketless fans forced entry into the iconic south London music venue
‘We are working incredibly closely with our partners and community members and would like to thank them for their support so far in the investigation. We would also like to thank people for coming forward with information.
‘We have set up an online page for the submission of photos and videos. There were around 4,000 potential witnesses present at the time of this incident and we want to urge any members of the public with information to come forward.
‘We need your information as we try to establish what happened as quickly as we can.’
Any witnesses who are yet to speak with police are asked to call 101 ref 6725/15Dec.
Meanwhile, the force has insisted that there is ‘no evidence of misconduct’ against a Met Police officer who was filmed pushing a reveller down stairs outside the O2 Academy.
However the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it will review the footage as part of its own probe into the chaotic scenes on Thursday evening.
It comes as an MP is calling for answers to what led to a suspected crowd crush, stating that ‘ticketing and security procedures have not performed as they should have’.
Florence Eshalomi, Labour MP for Vauxhall, said in a statement posted on Twitter: ‘It is very clear ticketing and security procedures have not performed as they should have for this incident to have occurred.
Emergency services attended the Brixton O2 Academy on Thursday night to reports a number of people had been injured
‘We need answers about exactly how this happened and safeguards against it in future. This will be fully investigated by Specialist Crime detectives, supported by Lambeth Council’s Licensing Unit.’
After hearing the news of Ms Ikumelo’s death , Ms Eshalomi added: ‘I’m devastated to learn that Rebecca Ikumelo has died as a result of her injuries sustained in the crush at the Brixton Academy on Thursday evening.
‘I visited the site again this morning [Saturday] and I’ve been dreading this news ever since the incident, hoping it would never never come.
‘My thoughts and prayers to Rebecca family and friends. Such a tragic loss of a young 33-year-old woman with so much life ahead of her.
‘My prayers to the other two women who remain in a critical condition.’
Belgian band 2manydjs was forced to cancel their 20th anniversary party at the O2 Academy Brixton last night.
A statement shared on Twitter yesterday said: ‘It is with pain in our hearts that we have to announce that due to the terrible events that happened at O2 Academy Brixton last night, we are being forced to postpone tomorrow’s show. The new date will be on Sat 18th Feb and all tickets will be transferable or refundable.
‘We understand that many of you are travelling from afar to make it to London for this, but hopefully you will all be available again to celebrate on this new date. Our hearts go out to those who were injured. Love Dave & Steph.’
A concertgoer who narrowly avoided being crushed by crowds told how she watched one girl almost die in front of her.
Vicky Osinlaru, a 27-year-old radio presenter from Croydon, suffered a panic attack when hordes of ticketless fans forced entry into the iconic South London music venue to see Nigerian artist Asake.
Miss Osinlaru took refuge in the first aid room and watched as medics battled to save the life of one reveller.
She told MailOnline: ‘I could see there was something happening in the ticketing hall. I went out and saw that the security were literally holding onto the front doors for their lives.
‘The doors were shaking and all of a sudden, they burst open. I remember a man, wide-eyed with shock, shout ‘Thank God for my life’ as he collapsed on the floor. He didn’t have his shoes on and was completely breathless.
‘Then another woman was brought in, she looked to be aged in her late 20s, wearing jeans and a top but she was unconscious. She didn’t even appear to be breathing.
‘Her face was lifeless as she was laid down on the floor by a medic who gave her CPR for about 20-minutes to half-an-hour.
‘They were giving her chest compressions, really sting pumps to the chest, but from what I could tell there was very little sign of life.
Afrobeats singer Asake released a statement on Instagram this morning
Asake asked fans on Sunday not to attend if they did not have a ticket, adding that none were for sale on the door
‘Eventually the ambulance arrived and the medics were continuing CPR to save her life as they escorted her out.
‘I don’t know what happened to her but I really hope she pulls through.
‘It was so traumatic to witness something like that, I haven’t been able to sleep at all because it’s been playing on my mind.
‘I’ve been to the O2 on numerous occasions but there were so many fans who had come to see Asake and because it was his last night playing in Brixton, people didn’t want to miss out.
‘But what happened last night was horrific, people were seriously, seriously hurt.’
A video shared on TikTok of the night captured the moment Asake told his fans that ‘3,000 people have broken the door outside’.
In the footage, he said: ‘Because of security police have asked us to close the show. We apologise to you, this is nothing to do with us or the promoter. This is basically… listen to what I am saying.’
He then passes the mic over and fans are told to ‘leave the same way you came in’ and promised that they will be given a refund on their purchased ticket.
Moment a woman strikes a police officer in the face outside the O2 Academy in Brixton on Thursday night
In another video, the crowd inside the venue can be heard booing when an announcement was made from the stage saying the show was being closed.
The gig, which saw Asake touring his debut album Mr. Money With The Vibe, was pulled part-way through.
It was the final of three sell-out shows the Nigerian singer, who had the break-out hit Lady in 2020, had performed at the Brixton music venue, which has a standing capacity of 5,000 people.
Last Sunday, the musician tweeted fans to ask them not to come to the O2 Academy if they did not have a ticket, adding it was sold out and no tickets were being sold on the door.
The London Ambulance Service said that they were called to the Brixton 02 Academy at 10.06pm.
Ten people were treated at the scene, eight of those were taken to hospital and two were discharged.
Source: Read Full Article