For the first time since his daughter’s terrible death, the father of 24-year-old Kenyan Hellen Wendy Kemunto, who drowned in Canada, has spoken.
The nursing student passed away last Thursday while live-streaming herself swimming in a pool, as you may remember.
John Nyabuto Kiyondi, 55, stated in a video posted to Facebook that he was overtaken with sorrow as he witnessed his daughter’s life tragically end when she drowned in a pool.
The father of six claims that he was unaware of the popularity of the video at first.
“I watched the clip from my phone. I saw it was my daughter swimming excitedly. I did not see anything unusual,” he said.
“She was just swimming, talking to the camera, and she looked very happy. However, I saw people writing sorrowful comments, and I did not understand why they were saying bad news, yet she was just swimming,”
He said he missed the few final moments where Wendy drowned before the live footage went silent until someone from Canada called him to convey the news of her demise.
“Reality hit me when a Kenyan from Canada called and explained to me that my daughter drowned as documented in the sad clip while swimming. I was so shocked and couldn’t stop crying,” he added.
The father also revealed that Wendy, who was studying nursing, left home five years ago and had not returned since.
“She is our firstborn daughter. She travelled to Canada in 2018 and was studying nursing. Wendy was my only hope.”
Speaking further with Nation Kenya, he said she had applied for and won a chance to live in Canada, the equivalent of the US Green Card.
“While in high school, she used to tell me that she harboured the dream of going overseas. One evening, she came home and told me she had won herself a ‘Green Card’ to go to Canada. She asked me to help her raise her airfare. I went to a local chama, borrowed some money and together with what I had saved, we saw her off,” Mr Nyabuto said.
While in Canada, according to the father, Hellen was determined to see their family back in Kenya prosper since she knew they were struggling.
During her free time, she would take up extra jobs and the little she could get, she could budget it well for her upkeep and the remaining could be sent home to support her family.
“I struggled to teach her with my wife until she was blessed to travel abroad. She has since been supporting us and was even paying her own school fees. We had started gaining stability. I’m now back to square one,” Nyabuto said before breaking down..