24-year-old artist, Khadija Saye’s friends desperately finding her following Grenfell Tower fire

by Rachel Ogbu//

Amongst the hundreds missing or even feared dead in the tragically burnt Grenfell Tower West London is 24-year-old Khadija Saye, a photographer who recently exhibited her work at the Venice Biennale.

She is believed to have been living in a flat with her mother, Mary Mendy, 50, at the time of the fire on Tuesday morning. Member of Parliament David Lammy who knows Saye personally has appealed for information. He tweeted that Saye is a “dear friend, a beautiful soul and emerging artist”. He has also called for the arrest of the Block’s management tagging it Corporate murder.

At 3am on the night of the fire, Saye sent an SOS  Facebook message informing her contacts that she was unable to get out of the flat as the smoke was so thick. Already The Daily Mail has reported 17 people are known to have died in the tower block blaze – although death toll is expected to rise significantly and the London fire chief said today that it would be ‘miracle’ if anyone was still alive in the burnt-out building.

Khadija Saye’s friend, Nicola Green, said, “We’re desperately trying to communicate with all the hospitals. We’re told some people have been rescued up to the 19th and 20th floor. She was on the 20th floor. Nobody has any information at this point.”

Green said she was communicating on Facebook: “She was saying she just can’t get out and ‘Please pray for me. There’s a fire in my council block. I can’t leave the flat. Please pray for me and my mum.’

“At one point she said she’d just tried to leave again and said it was impossible. She said she felt like she was going to faint.

Someone asked, “Did you try going down low with towels?’ She said ‘Yes, it’s in my room’. I’m assuming she meant the smoke.”

“She’s one of the most beautiful, kind and soulful people I’ve ever met. She always wears a map of Africa around her neck. We are all praying for her. She’s got artists and friends and colleagues all praying for her.”

She added, “She’s got a huge career ahead of her. She’s received an enormous amount of attention in her first major exhibition. She’s an incredible, amazing, soulful artist.” Khadija Saye

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