Mother describes slain Unam student as exemplary

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Walvis Bay

Redney Gariseb, the student who was shot dead by unknown criminals outside the University of Namibia (Unam), was his family’s pride and joy.

He was also exemplary in his behaviour and had big dreams to become a forensic auditor, say his family.
Gariseb’s grief-stricken mother Mona-Lisa Katjivira, during an emotional interview at the family residence, said: “My son was our pride, a soulful being that did not deserve to leave the world like this. His death is indeed a great loss. He had so many dreams and aspirations; we all took pride in him.”

The 20-year-old Gariseb, who was in the company of his cousin and other students, was attacked and shot by three suspects last Friday, while on their way back to Unam from Baines shopping complex in Pionierspark. The students tried to run away but Gariseb was not so fortunate. After he was shot he stumbled and fell to the ground, and tragically died in his cousin’s arms.

According to his mom, Redney was born in Okahandja in 1992. He showed leadership skills from a tender age and was fully aware of the living conditions of the family. He was always satisfied with what he got, she added.

“We are not that rich – he knew the condition of the house, and the environment he grew up in, and he would always remind me that it is his task to make a change in our lives one day,” reminisced the mother.

“I can still remember when he was in primary school he would insist on going to school even if I couldn’t pack him a lunch box.”

According to her, his secondary school years were just as hard. “When we spoke about getting him new shoes, he would always tell me not to stress or worry if there was no money. His words were always, ‘Mama, it’s not what I am wearing today, it’s the vision I have for us. Whoever wants to laugh should do so, I am chasing my dream for us,” she said with tears welling in her eyes. Fondly also speaking about his son, his father Japhet says Redney was indeed a role model and someone who also inspired him to reach for greater heights.

“We regarded him as our ambassador and he represented us well. Redney was not a troublemaker. We were always assured of his behaviour outside the house,” said the father.

According to Japhet, Redney was a genius in mathematics and kids from the suburb would flock to their house over weekends and holidays to be helped by him.

“Sometimes we would even tell the children that he was not at home so that we could spend more time with him, before he went back to Windhoek,” he said.

Redney passed Grade 12 with flying colours in 2013 and obtained a government grant to further his studies at Unam.

“That’s how he ended up at Unam. When we heard the news of his demise the first question in my mind was where did it happen, but I also knew that it could not have been at a club or shebeen, because that is not how I know my son. However I learned with shock that it happened at Unam.

But he was a true ambassador until the end. It is unfortunate that we lost him. However, we are grateful tor our heavenly father for lending us such a wonderful and caring son,” said the father.

A memorial service for Gariseb took place in Walvis Bay on Wednesday, while his funeral will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in Okombahe.

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