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Family, friends remember Cave Run Lake drowning victim, lay him to rest

Posted at 3:27 PM, Jul 11, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Saturday morning dozens of friends and family members laid Cubaka Mutayongwa, or "Chui", to rest in Lexington Cemetery.

"He was loved so much," Chui's oldest brother, Sedrick Mutangwaa Murhula, said. "You couldn't spend a second with Chui without smiling, laughing. His face was always like laughing."

The 22-year-old was one of seven children. He grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in 2012 his family moved to Lexington.

During his time in the Bluegrass Chui was a community organizer, social justice activist, and entrepreneur.
"I think he was living some other people's dream," Murhula said. "Not because he was wealthy but because what he's achieved."

"I wasn't surprised," Murhula said. "When I heard that I was like 'yea he was going to do that.' He can do anything for people for someone else than himself and that's exactly how he passed. Even though I grieve him every day, I just know that he is a hero for me."

Friends describe 22 year-old Cubaka Mutayongwa as a man with big goals who was always willing to lend a hand.

"Anyone met him, you would be in love with him because he have a big heart. And this big smile. Full with ambitions and dreams," said Mamadou Savane, owner of Sav's Grill and Sav's Chill in Lexington.

Those who know him say he was a go-getter with a contagious positive attitude.

"I don't know how he had the time to do everything that he did. He definitely was a force in this city and he's going to be missed," said Adrian Wallace, vice president of the NAACP in Lexington.

Officials say Mutayongwa died on July 5 at Cave Run Lake while trying to help his girlfriend swim to shore after their kayak flipped.

"I wasn't surprised," Murhula said. "When I heard that I was like 'yea he was going to do that.' He can do anything for people for someone else than himself and that's exactly how he passed. Even though I grieve him every day, I just know that he is a hero for me."

"He stayed true to character that even in his last moment he saved somebody else's life. He died trying to save Mary's life," said Wallace.

Mutayongwa was an activist and worked with several organizations including the NAACP. He was also a businessman and eager to take over Sav's Chill in a few months so he could start his own soda pop store.
"To see that dream cut short is just...this will impact me for a long, long time," said Savane. "I'm really sad. I still have to try to convince myself that maybe he's gone because I still can't believe it."