A radio host and presenter was left stunned and “heartbroken” after he was subjected to racial abuse in a busy London Underground station.
Will Njobvu, 26, was speaking to a friend over the phone at Harrow-on-the-Hill station on Sunday night, when a fellow passenger demanded that he “speak in English”.
The bemused Capital XTRA host ended the call with his friend and replied to the stranger that he had, in fact, been speaking English.
He proceeded to question the man on his comments, recording the encounter which he later posted on Twitter.
In the video, Mr Njobvu can be heard asking the masked man: “Speak in English? I was speaking in English mate?”
The man responds: “Yeah you are now,” to which Mr Njobvu replies: “I was speaking in English before, what’s your problem?”
The 26-year-old then asks the man if he is racist.
“Yes and no,” the man replies.
Can’t believe this but I’ve just been racially abused at Harrow-on-the-Hill train station. Was on my way home after finishing my radio show.. on the phone to my friend and this man said “speak in English” he then said he “doesn’t like” some Black people. Please RT @metpoliceuk pic.twitter.com/PSpUiDNBUa
— Will Njobvu (@william_njo)
When asked to clarify what “yes and no” means, the man says: “There’s certain black people I don’t want to speak with, and certain black people I will speak with.”
Mr Njobvu, who has been named as host of a new spin-off show for ITV’s ‘The Masked Singer’, said the encounter had been deeply distressing.
“It’s traumatic when you suffer racist abuse, particularly when people walk past and don’t seem fussed – it’s heartbreaking,” he told the Standard.
The 26-year-old explained that as soon as he heard the man’s snide remarks while he was speaking to his friend he hung up and decided to start filming.
“I wanted to make sure I had it all on camera,” he explained. “I wanted people to see that racism is an everyday reality which needs to be taken seriously.”
He said he stopped recording because his battery was running low but he informed the man that he had recorded their exchange.
“He said he didn’t care and then got on the train,” Mr Njobvu said.
“The other thing is, I don’t speak any other language – English is the only language I know – so it really hurts to hear someone question that.”
Tweeting a clip of the incident on Sunday night, the TV presenter wrote: “I’ve just been racially abused during Black History Month.
“We’ve got a long way to go. No one even stepped in to say anything.”
I’ve just been racially abused during Black History Month. We’ve got a long way to go. No one even stepped in to say anything.
— Will Njobvu (@william_njo)
A British Transport Police spokesperson confirmed that the force was investigating the incident.
They said: “In the early hours of this morning (October 26), British Transport Police received a report of a racist incident that occurred yesterday evening at Harrow-on-the-Hill Underground station.
“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 26 of 26/10/20.”