How a swollen river swept away Papa Shirandula’s Kawira

Kawira says she has phobia for large water bodies PHOTO/FILE

Papa Shirandula actress Joy Karambu, better known by her screen name, Kawira, says she has phobia for large water bodies after she was swept away by a swollen river in Timau, Meru County when she was in primary school.

Kawira says she was going to pick her mum up from another village that was across the river.

“I have phobia for water,” she told eDaily.

“When I was in standard six, a river that had swollen swept me away; it made me develop a fear for large bodies of water (laughs). That explains why I don’t know how to swim.”

Recounting vividly what transpired, Kawira narrated: “On that fateful day, the river had burst its banks after a heavy downpour. Out of curiosity, I decided to experiment how deep it was. I opted to cross the stream, despite the fact that it had reached an extremely high water level. Furthermore, the bridge was quite a long way away, and night had fallen – the time was around 8pm. I was alone.”

Why would she do something so dangerous?

“Having grown up a better part of my childhood as a tomboy, I saw it would be very impressive if I crossed the river at that state,” recalled Kawira.

She, however, says her decision was not completely shaped by her desire to feel heroic.

“Before water levels had risen, there was a huge stone in the river that people could step on to leverage themselves to the other side of the stream, and I had mastered its location.”

“When I saw a spot that the water ‘bumped’ over, I concluded that that was where the stone was; I tried stepping on it, and slipped off; consequently falling into the swollen stream. The water swept me away for quite a distance.”

How did Kawira survive the incident?

“The good thing is that I had a torch with me; so I lit around when I was afloat. After being swept for nearly a kilometer, I miraculously got something to hold on to and I managed to jump out of the river.”

Kawira was born and bred in Timau in Meru County.


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