Little-known details of Rex Kanyike, man shot during protests


• Family and friends of Rex Kanyike, whose life was suddenly cut short by a bullet, are yet to come to terms with his tragic demise.

Rex Kanyike
Image: courtesy

The country has been thrown into mourning after the death of one protester who was shot Thursday evening in Nairobi.

Family and friends of Rex Kanyike, whose life was suddenly cut short by a bullet, are yet to come to terms with his tragic demise.

The young and creative man who had amassed a successful career didn't know that Thursday would be his last day at work.

His parents said they received news of his sudden death from a friend who was with him during the protests.

They said he had just left work and decided to join the demonstrators with his friends and colleagues before heading home.

The distraught parents said Kanyike had just moved out of home to start life independently after he landed a job.

They described Kanyike, their the firstborn son, as a hardworking, calm and obedient person.

Society often expects firstborns to succeed and set a good example to their siblings, and Kanyike did not fall short of this expectation.

His parents painted the picture of a determined young man who was keen on piecing his life together before his desire to stand in solidarity with the majority opposed to 'overtaxation' led to his sudden demise.

His father Augustine Odhiambo could not hide his pain when describing the last moments of his son as told by those he was with.

To Odhiambo, his son's death is a case of double tragedy.

He revealed that he was yet to come to terms with the loss of his brother and is now faced with another loss; mourning his firstborn son.

"I was informed that my son was shot around 7pm. He was in the company of his friends and was just from work. They decided to join the peaceful protest before going home and that was when everything turned worse," he said.

Odhiambo said his son was a calm, obedient and non-violent person.

A search on his online profile revealed little additional information about his life, pointing to the likelihood that Rex was a private person.

His Facebook profile indicates that he last made a post on January 8 when he uploaded a new profile photo.

His profile reads, "Truly humble under God". He had over 1,000 followers on the social media platform.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, a total of 39 people were injured during Thursday's protests, eight of them critically.

The most seriously injured were taken to Kenyatta National Hospital, the country's biggest referral hospital, for further treatment.

Police said they are investigating the circumstances under which Rex was shot and killed.

An aerial video captured the moment the victim was shot.

A group of protesters had been pushed by police from parts of Kenyatta Avenue, City Hall Way and other places they had gathered to air their opposition to the Bill when they gathered outside Moi Avenue.

Human Rights organisations have condemned Rex's killing and called for a probe into his death.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority said it has already instituted investigations into the fatal shooting.

Director of Public Prosecution Renson Ingonga directed the Authority to submit report of the investigations within 21 days.

A postmortem was performed on Rex's body at the City Mortuary on Friday where his parents spoke to the media about their loss.

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