In memory of Dr Paul Matewele

Much-loved member of our community has died following a battle with a coronavirus infection

Date: 07 April 2020

We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of our much-loved colleague, Dr Paul Matewele. Paul had been with the University for over 30 years and will be a huge loss to colleagues and all the students he has taught and inspired over the years. 

Dr Una Fairbrother, Head of the School of Human Sciences and a colleague of Paul's, said: "Paul was a very special colleague. He was an exceptionally kind and happy character with an unequalled passion for cakes, he shared his teddy bear hugs amongst all who wanted them. Uniquely, he managed to combine being a dynamic researcher, a smashing teacher and being enormously laid back and unflappable. He was generous with his time and with his smile. He will be enormously missed by our staff and students. Our thoughts are especially with his close friends and family, including his son, William."

During London Met's online memorials several people asked if they could make a donation in Paul's memory, so a fundraising page has been set up by Dr Sheelagh Heugh. The funds will be used to support Paul's son, William. 

Tributes to Paul

My condolences to Paul's family and friends. I pray for peace as time goes on. May his soul RIP. - Maria, staff

I first came to know Paul Matewele as a very green junior lecturer at London Met. He introduced me to how a tutorial system should operate and the characteristics needed from the operators. Paul's actions as a tutor and a lecturer exemplify what is best for students. 

He took on the biggest challenges and was never afraid to fight for what he believed in, McDonalds being particularly memorable. Even up until March he was broadcasting warnings about risk of infection from cash, Paul always took the side of the little guy, be it colleagues, students or society. He was a fine example of what an academic should aspire to become. 

His work will never be forgotten by the students who he knew and helped but his legacy is significantly greater. The skills he gave me as a junior are the foundation of interactions I and countless other academics have with their students. The Matewele spirit of students as partners permeates many universities. 

He is and will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace. - Sean Frost, Lecturer at the University of Hull

Deepest condolences for the loss of a valued member of staff. It is so sad to hear this news. Also condolences to Paul's family and friends. RIP Paul. - Karen, staff

We have lost a good soul, a good lecturer. His presence will forever be missed. - Tanya, student

I pray that his family will have the resilience to get through this difficult time, and I also pray that they will have all the support they need. - Yousif, student

May his gentle soul rest in peace. - Usif, student

He put in a lot of effort to make us understand the lectures. He was always smiling, with an amazing personality, entertaining the class sometimes with jokes. I hope that his soul finds peace and his family, friends and the students stay strong. He will always be in our hearts. - Ralitsa, student

I am honored and privileged to have spent the past two years knowing Dr Paul Matewele. He was my PhD supervisor. He had hugely shaped my view on life, work, and many other things. Today is our chance to say thank you for the way you brightened our lives. Death is not the end, and you will continue the work that we have started together, The seeds that we planted together will grow without end. - Salam, student

I am very sorry to hear the demise of Dr Paul. Please accept my condolences and my sincere sympathy to the colleagues, his friends, students and his family. - Edith, Student

My tutor since 2012. Heartbroken to hear of your untimely death. A kind soul. May your family have strength at this time. I shall keep them all in my thoughts and prayers. - Sally, student

You will be sorely missed and appreciated for your hard work and dedication, Paul. Best wishes to Paul's family. - Graham, student

I worked with Paul for 9 years when I was based in the School of Human Sciences. What a lovely, warm, kind man.  Full of smiles and never a raised voice. A real gentleman. He will be missed. Rest in peace. - Wendy, staff

I am very sorry for the loss, may the good Lord bless his family in Jesus name. - Fatama, student

He was not just a teacher, he was like a dad for us. As his PhD student, since we started our research, I found him to be such a dedicated teacher. He was always ready to help and support me. I started my PhD because of Dr Paul. I knew I would get such great depths of knowledge, support and motivation. I was so excited to work under Dr Paul’s supervision. I am so heartbroken. It is a dark day of my life. Dr Paul, we will make you proud by completing your work, build on your ideas, the depth knowledge you have given us, and acknowledge your legacy. A great loss that is impossible to fill again. He was such a wonderful man, a real ray of sunshine in our research lab. We will miss you our star. We were so lucky to work alongside him. May he rest in peace. - Saima, student

Forever remembered, forever missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Paul. - Marilene, student

I would like to say how saddened I am to hear of Paul's untimely passing. He was always a pleasure to work with, always smiling, upbeat and positive. In ten years I cannot recall ever seeing him in any other demeanour. My thoughts and condolences to his family and friends. - Andrew, former staff member

As an academic, Dr Paul Matawele worked tirelessly for the sake of research. My sincere thoughts are with his family at this time. - Heather, staff

I was very shocked to learn of this news. I had been at London Met and its forerunners for a similar length of time to Paul, but retired and became an associate lecturer three years ago. 

When I last saw Paul going over to the superlab just before Christmas we chatted and his friendly smile and happy nature and interest in his work shone through. He was a dedicated and worthy scientist and a lovely man.  He will be very badly missed. - Sue, staff

I find it hard to express my sadness. He really was someone who never stopped smiling. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family. - Brunhilda, staff

When I was doing my Master's Paul was my second supervisor. I worked for London Met for 8 years and I knew Paul very well. It was a pleasure to work with him. He was very passionate and dedicated to his work and students. He was one of the kindest and the humbled person with the greatest sense of humour. Paul was always smiling anytime of the day. I have never seen him sad or angry. 07/04/2020 was the darkest and the saddest day for London Metropolitan colleagues and students losing a person like Paul.  My deepest sympathy to his family at this difficult period. Paul may you rest in peace. You will be missed by everyone. - Saron, staff

My fondest memories of Paul will be his joy at seeing me more than once in the Science Centre. He would count the number of times our paths crossed in a day and each time, he would be happier and express his joy through a rumbling laugh which I will hold dear in my mind. I have never known him to be anything but happy. Paul was always smiling, always kind and a lovely gentleman who was generous in nature. This is a huge loss to our community. It’s hard to try and rationalise and I pray for strength for his son William, his friends and family, as well as for LMU staff and students who feel this tremendous loss. May you rest in peace Paul. - Bilkis, staff

Dedication is a word that describes many people working within our university, another is professionalism, with open hearts and minds that through personal desire, interest, expert knowledge, and the sharing of it. Through teaching practice and persuasive engagement in lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical sessions, group and individual learning projects that shape young and learned minds alike for a new world, Paul Matewele was exactly that.

When you saw Paul in the lab he was surrounded by students that were there because they wanted to be in the lab working with him. Getting students engaged with the practical side of science, training them, encouraging them to work as a team and to think with their own mind, and developing the science in a fun and academic way.

This was a journey of an open and gentle soul. A teacher with his students at the bench. You will be missed. -John, staff

Paul will enormously be missed. He got on well with students and staff, and his inspirational vibe, cheerfulness, jokes will never be forgotten. - Brigitte, staff

Paul was a lovely man who was always cheerful and a pleasure to be around. His passing will leave a void in the department that will be impossible to fill. My heart goes out to his friends and family at this difficult time.He will be sadly missed by us all. Rest in peace my friend. - Karlene, staff

It has been so hard to try and find the right words for this. Paul was my friend and colleague for over 6 years, and his passing truly came as a shock. He was one of the last people I spoke to just before the quarantine began, and all I remember is how eager he was to go back to the lab. He was a ray of sunshine in our research lab, and I will always remember how he used to wave to me from his little lab that was just opposite my work bench. He was hard-working and kind, and it just will not be the same without him. My heart goes out to his son William, and I hope he knows that his father was loved and respected by us all. - Nada, student.

Dr Paul Matewele