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Sankok family on son's death: We don't know what happened

By Julius Chepkwony and Brian Okoth | May 14th 2022 | 3 min read
From left: Nominated MP David Sankok, his son’s casket and David’s wife Hellen Sankok. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

At the age of 15, Memusi Hillary Sankok was “too good to die so suddenly”, his family says.

Until now, the teenager’s parents, David Sankok and Hellen Siyianoi-Sankok, say they really don’t know what provoked his alleged suicidal ideation.

Memusi died by a single gunshot wound to the head on May 2, 2022 at his parents’ Ewaso Nyiro home in Narok South Sub-County. Authorities are investigating possible suicide.

The teenager allegedly used his father’s gun to take his own life.

David Sankok during the burial service of his son Memusi Sankok on May 14, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Memusi was buried on Saturday, May 14 at his parents’ Narok home.

His eulogy painted the picture of a young boy who had his life in order, balancing humour and responsibility needs very effortlessly.

“The first enduring trait of Memusi, which anyone who knew him will never forget, is the cheeky sense of humour. Memusi never failed to see the funny side of any situation, and to express it in his own unique way,” said his eulogy, which was read out during his burial.

“He spread laughter and joy effortlessly. At home, any time Memusi walked in, we all knew we would smile, no matter what was going on. And that was the second unforgettable thing about Memusi: his smile. He smiled easily and often, exuding warmth and mischief depending on the occasion, and forcing anyone around him to smile back. He was a happy soul.”

The boy’s parents also eulogised Memusi as a responsible child, who knew when and how to be firm.

Memusi Sankok, 15, died on May 2, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

“The other enduring personality of Memusi that we shall never forget as a family, is his strong and firm sense of responsibility. People outside the family might not have known it, but within the family we all knew we could count on Memusi, especially his siblings. We all knew that if anything needed to be done, Memusi would do it. If anything needed to be said, Memusi would say it.”

The family admits that different people perceived Memusi differently; based on their own biases, but to them the teenager was a perfect son, whose death continues to confound them.

“He was, of course, many other things to each different member of our family. Each one of us, mom, dad, Naserian, Ledama, Simayo, Meitekini, Sanare, Sintalo; each one of us had our own special relationship with Memusi, our own special moments with him, our special memories of him that we shall always carry in our hearts.

“It is that memory of Memusi that makes it so hard for us as a family to comprehend this moment. It is strange, unreal, unbelievable, that Memusi will no longer be with us. It will take us a long, long time; if ever, for us to come to terms with his death.

“He has been our family's unique source of laughter and a lively, jovial person with a ready smile and funny jokes; a young man who loved to give speeches and quotes and loved writing stories. He was so lively, so lovable, so much a part of us. He was too good to die so suddenly. He was too young to die at all.”

Memusi, the fourth born child in a family of seven siblings, would have turned 16 years old on May 28 this year.

Hillary Memusi was the fourth born child of David and Hellen Sankok. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

By the time of his death, he was set to join Form Three at Kericho High School.

Several reports alleged that child-parent differences could have pushed Memusi to his death. That is yet to be established.

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