The gaming community was devastated back in June this year when it learned that popular YouTuber Desmond “Etika” Amofah had died by suicide. In the months that have passed, fans have struggled to process their grief over the loss, but some have found a beautiful way to remember him.
Before his passing, Amofah had posted one final video to his YouTube channel that many consider a suicide note to his fans, wherein he talked about his struggles with mental illness before apologizing for leaving behind what he felt was a “stained legacy.” This stuck with Double A, another New York City-based YouTuber and acquaintance of Amofah who had watched the video, as did another sentence: “I know this world’s gonna forget me.”
This inspired Double A to prove that’s not the case. Teaming up with local web designer Abe Hunter, they raised $11,000 for the National Alliance for Mental Illness by selling merchandise on Amofah’s website following his passing. And continuing from there, the two spearheaded the creation of a mural commemorating the legacy they feel he truly deserves.
Located at 1280 Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, the massive 40 foot-long mural was completed and revealed this week, a collaboration between local artists “BKFoxx” and “kestaadm.” Amofah’s smiling face is front and center, a sharp contrast from all the serious photos of him that were circulating around the time of his passing. In addition, he is surrounded by multiple trademarks of his Etika persona, including the logo for the Super Smash Bros. series, one of his favorites, and Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons meant to represent his fans, known by the collective name “Joycon Boyz.” Capping things off is one of Amofah’s catchphrases: “Take care of yourself. Have yourself a damn good one!”
“We all miss him. We all love him.” Double A told Kotaku when discussing the mural. Meanwhile, Hunter said, “People are still mourning and not over it. It’s not a mural to glamorize his death or the negativity. It’s more his life and getting the message out there that we can talk about mental illness. It’s not a taboo subject.”
The mural comes at a rather perfect time, Hunter said. Amofah was a big Nintendo fan, having built up his fanbase in no small part through his video reactions to Nintendo Direct announcements, and the next big Nintendo games, Pokemon Sword and Shield, are less than a week from launch. That launch will no doubt attract plenty of fans to the Nintendo Store in Manhattan, and since Manhattan and Bushwick are connected via train line, it should be easy for fans of Amofah to also head on over to the mural and pay their respects.