Nigerian Student Dies In Amazon Lake


Tributes have been paid to a London student who drowned in an Amazon lake while working as a missionary.

Olakunle Teniola, 20, of Hackney, disappeared after jumping into the lake with a friend in Manaus, Brazil, after their boat stopped so they could have a swim.

Friends spoke of their shock at the loss of “a truly special person” who had been “an inspiration”.

A friend said: “His family are totally devastated. They cannot believe such a happy, inspirational guy has gone.

He was so excited to be heading out to Brazil on missionary work. He was devoted to helping people – a truly special person.”

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News of Mr Teniola’s death came just before his 21st birthday. His immediate family were too upset to speak.

Mr. Teniola, who called himself “Gospelz” on Facebook and other social networking sites, was in his second year of a BA in youth work at Coventry University.

His tutor, Brian Goredema-Braid, called him a very popular student. Friend Melody Peters said on Twitter: “He left a legacy and it’s up to all of us to continue it.”

It is believed Mr Teniola, who grew up on a Hackney council estate, could not swim. He was with Ray of Hope, a group that works with underprivileged Amazon communities.

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