Olavi Matovu, the son of businessman Haji Yusuf Matovu, drowned on Sunday evening about 400 metres off the Speke Resort Munyonyo marina.
This is the story from the man who last saw him:
As is his usual weekend (Sunday) norm, Olavi, usually with friends (often Ali Taha, Ntozi and) but this time with his prospective in-laws (Horsham Taha, one Ismail and three others) took his boat from Munyonyo and their jet ski and headed to a nearby island to ski on the water.
While there, the jet ski got a mechanical fault and later in the evening decided to return on the boat while Ismail rode the faulty ski back and because he was moving slowly, they decided to stop the boat and wait for him just about 400 meters from the shore/Munyonyo boat marina. They were so near that they could be seen by the people on land.
While waiting, Olavi decided that he could take a dip as they wait for Ismail so he took off his jacket and got into the water around 6pm. (He is such a strong swimmer that he was known to do long distances on the lake sometimes hauling faulty jet skis along).
Whilst Olavi was casually swimming on his back and really relaxing on the water by the boat, Horsham suddenly saw him disappear downwards in a flash.
He didn’t yell or wave frantically or fight, or anything. He just went down in a twinkle so Horsham who was wearing a life jacket, immediately got Olavi’s life jacket and dived in, at the exact spot where Olavi had been (this took about 5 seconds) but he was nowhere to be seen or felt.
Horsham pressed on downward into the deep but of course kept being interrupted by the jacket he was wearing and it didn’t help at all that the water was dark which gave him zero visibility. By the time he got back up, the two ladies and one chap (guy) on the boat had taken off in frenzy to the shore, trying to get help but they weren’t fast because only Olavi and Hosham knew how to man the boat.
They got scared because for what seemed like eternity to them, the two, Horsham and Olavi, had vanished.
Horsham, now without help from the boat, kept going in and out at that very spot despite a strong current that kept sweeping him away into the lake and when he grew weaker he opted to swim to the shore but the current was too strong and it carried him while he swam along to a marshy island far off while screaming Olavi’s name.
Over an hour later, he identified a fisherman’s boat which he swam to with all his might, scaring the fisherman in the process who thought and assured him that he was a ghost and therefore refused to let him on his boat, but was at least kind enough to let him hang along and drag him to yet another fisherman’s boat. He was found three-and-a-hours later, totally exhausted.
The search has been on since but in vain and Ali Taha, having been on a very well equipped boat taking the divers along with Hosham, informed me that the very spot he went down was 18 feet in deep and about 200 meters from the nearest land which is opposite Munyonyo.
Whether he was trapped in a marshy swamp or made it to some island alive, no one knows until he is found dead or alive.
Unfortunately, he had just arranged for his introduction next month, with his fiancé returning from the US in a short while.