UPDATE: Young man who ‘touched many’ is laid to rest

Saves girlfriend from drowning, but couldn't save himself

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Dozens of family and friends said goodbye Saturday to a young man, who, even in his final act, touched a life.

The funeral and burial for Cubaka Mutayongwa was Saturday in Lexington Cemetery with his family and the many lives he touched in his work in the community not just saying goodbye but also sending him ‘home.’

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UPDATE, 12:30 p.m. WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Visitation and the funeral for a 22-year-old drowning victim who friends describe as having “touched many lives” even at a young age are set Friday and Saturday.

Visitation for Cubaka Mutayongwa is 5-8 p.m. Friday at Greater Faith Apostolic Church at 3416 Clays Mill Road in Lexington. The graveside service and funeral is 10:30 .m. – noon Saturday at the Lexington Cemetery, 833 W. Main St.

Those attending are urged to carpool because of limited parking. Those attending will be directed from the gate to the burial site.

From 1-6 p.m. Saturday will be a home going ceremony at 1692 Millbank Road in Lexington with music, comments from family members and friends, and poetry by Jaria Gordon.

Those attending any of the events are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.

He died Saturday in a kayaking accident at Cave Run Lake, saving his girlfriend but unable to get out himself.

Cubaka Nehemia (Prince) Mutayongwa, known fondly as “Chui” to his friends, was born in the Congo and moved to Lexington with his family in 2012, according to his obituary.

He was the six of seven sons born to Joseph Mutayongwa and the late Izabella Lubago.

A graduate of Tates Creek High School where he played his favorite sport, soccer, and was named Homecoming King, he went on to Transylvania University where he also played soccer.

But his passion was helping people and being involved. He worked with the North Limestone Community Foundation as director of sustainability, helped organize union workers at the University of Kentucky, was an AmeriCorps member and worked with the NAACP and the Fresh Stop market.

ORIGINAL STORY

MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ) –  Investigators say a Lexington man kayaking on the Fourth of July with his girlfriend at Cave Run Lake helped get her to safety before he drowned.

Bath County Coroner says 22-year-old Cubaka Mutayongwa and his girlfriend were kayaking about 50 to 75 feet from shore at the Stoney Cove Area of the lake when their kayak took on water Saturday around 3 p.m.

They both ended up in the water, which is about 15 feet deep in that area. Investigators say he helped his girlfriend get closer to shore where bystanders helped her the rest of the way, Mutayongwa never resurfaced.

His body was found two hours later. The coroner says neither were wearing life jackets.

Throughout the weekend, Mutayongwa’s friends and family poured support on social media to honor his life.

“Chui, I love you and I will miss you,” says Mamadou Savane, also known as Sav. He’s the owner of Sav’s Grill and Sav’s Chill. He calls Cubaka Mutayongwa “Chui,” as many people do, and he became his mentor over the years.

“My family, we just keep crying so much,” Savane says.  “It’s just like – I still don’t believe what really happened to him.”

Savane says he met Mutayongwa four years ago when Mutayongwa was going to Transylvania University at the same time as his daughter.

Savane says their friendship grew through their work with North Limestone Night Market, where Mutayongwa would ask him questions about starting his own business.

“We all have our dreams,” says Savane. That boy – one time he approached me he said he had this business idea he wanted to do something no one else do here in town.”

That dream was to own his own shop where he would sell his custom soda pop.

Savane says Mutayongwa started selling it at pop-up-shops around town, but when he saw Savane moving his restaurants into one location, he asked to take over until the lease was up.

“He’s full of ambition – of dreams,” Savane says. “I told him – I say no problem.”

That passion extended beyond being an entrepreneur who came to this country in 2012, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

The report says he helped unionize University of Kentucky workers so they could get better pay; he was involved in the NAACP, and was a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field.

Savane says he wants everyone, no matter how young, to chase their dreams like Mutayongwa did.

“But never, ever give up because if you continue, I’m sure you will succeed.”

A GoFundMe Page was created by a man who says he was Mutayongwa’s former soccer coach. With a goal of $20,000, it has raised more than $17,400 as of 12:05 p.m. Monday.