Top six deaths that shocked Kenyans in 2017
The year 2017 came with its fair share of deaths of prominent personalities that shocked Kenyans. Here are six that broke the heart of the nation.
1. Joseph Nkaissery – The Interior Cabinet Secretary until his death, the retired military officer breathed his last on July 8, 2017 at Karen Hospital where he had gone for a check up after attending a prayer rally at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.
Coming exactly a month to the general election of August 8, 2017, Nkaissery’s death shook the nation and united bitter adversaries across the Kenyan political divide.
The myth surrounding his death was further fuelled by reports that he looked energetic and jolly in his last public function moments before he passed on.
Close family sources say he complained of chest pains and collapsed at his home in Karen, and was later pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
2. Chris Msando – Unlike Nkaissery, the death of IEBC’s ICT manager not only shocked the nation but also divided Kenyans along political lines.
His near naked body was discovered in a thicket in the outskirts of Nairobi, alongside that of a woman friend, on July 31, 2017 just days after he had been reported missing.
Coming days just a week to the general election, Msando’s death was immediately linked to his powerful position at the IEBC, with the opposition Nasa reading mischief and accusing the government for having a hand in the brutal murder.
His death remains unsolved and the culprits yet to be brought to book.
3. Janet Kanini – The charming media personality lost her battle with lung cancer on April 1, 2017 at a time she seemed to have been healed. The mother of two had battled the disease for two years and at some point underwent treatment in India.
Until her death, the 38-year old NTV presenter had been the face of hope, bravery and optimism in the fight against cancer. Her courage and strength was reinforced when doctors gave her a clean bill of health in February 2016.
She would later describe herself as a cancer victor. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.
4. Big Kev – The month of July threw the entertainment industry into mourning following the death of celebrated events organizers Big Kev, real name Kevin Ombajo.
Until his death, Big Kev, the CEO and founder of Trublaq and former Capital FM employee, had been battling a brain tumour that blinded him in late 2016.
Big Kev first revealed he had a brain tumor in 2010 and between that time and his death he underwent over 10 brain surgeries.
His death broke the heart of the nation, leaving President Uhuru Kenyatta and prominent musician Kidum in tears.
5. Ayieya Poa Poa – The Kenyan comedy scene had earlier on been badly hit during Easter with the sudden demise of gifted comedian Emmanuel Makori aka Ayieya Poa Poa.
The young and promising entertainer met his death in a grisly road accident near Catholic University of Eastern Africa while travelling with his wife, actor Maina Olwenya and a colleague Paul Wakimani Ogutu.
Makori made his name for his rib cracking comedy set-ups on the Churchill Show and was popular for his signature greeting – “Ayieya, Poa Poa.”
6. Mike Okombe – The sporting fraternity wasn’t spared shocking deaths, the most notable one being the demise of rugby player Mike Okombe, who was reportedly stabbed to death by his girlfriend on November 4, 2017.
The Topfry Nakuru player, 27, is said to have been murdered by his 37-year old lover, one MaryAnne Mumbi Olive, while attending a friend’s birthday party.
The suspect has since been arraigned in court but is out on bail.