Nairobi Westgate attack: The victims

A scene from Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, showing up upturned pram

 Details are emerging about some of those who died in the attack on a Nairobi shopping centre by suspected al-Shabab militants. The siege continues.

About 62 people have died. This page will be updated as new information comes to light.

Kaltura Embed Player iFrame


Ruhila Adatia-Sood

Ruhila Adatia-Sood and her husband Ketan SoodRuhila Adatia-Sood and her husband were married in January last year

Ruhila Adatia-Sood, a popular TV and radio personality, was in the rooftop car park of the Westgate shopping centre where she was part of a team hosting a cooking competition for small children at the time of the attack.

She was married to Ketan Sood, who worked for USAid in Nairobi, in January 2012 in what has been described as Swahili-themed wedding.

She was six months’ pregnant with their first child when she died.

According to reports, Ms Adatia-Sood was rushed to Aga Khan Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

She was “known throughout Kenya for her passion, vibrancy, and gift for making people smile”, USAid administrator Rajiv Shah said in a statement.

On her Twitter account, she described herself as a “food lover, thrill seeker and a bungee jump away from sanity”.

A graduate of South Africa’s Rhodes University in Grahamstown, her three elder sisters described her as “a go-getter since childhood”.

She was a presenter on Radio Africa media group’s East FM and said she hosted entertainment news on Kiss TV, E-News, Kiss 100 and X-FM.

On Saturday she was tweeting Instagram photos of those attending the cooking competition in the car park.

Her colleague, Kamal Kaur, also a radio presenter, was helping with the competition and was at the event with her two young children when she said they all came under attack from a gunman.

“A grenade was thrown at us and it went off. At the same time he shot at us. The bullet missed my son by just an inch; it bounced off the wall and hit the boy who was next to him,” she told the BBC.

“Then he [the attacker] came out again with his big rifle. My daughter kept whispering to everybody: “Pretend you’re dead! Pretend you’re dead! He won’t shoot…pretend you’re dead.”

Ms Kaur and her children managed to escape – her children were hit in their legs by shrapnel.

“My daughter is very devastated because my colleague Ruhila… she was six months pregnant and she lost her life and we’re very devastated about that… Very devastated about that,” Ms Kaur said.

Mbugua Mwangi and Rosemary Wahito

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s nephew Mbugua Mwangi and his fiancee Rosemary Wahito are among the many Kenyans killed in the attack on the Westgate shopping centre.

Addressing the nation on Saturday, Uhuru Kenyatta said:

“I ask God to give you comfort as you confront this tragedy, and I know what you feel having also lost very close family members in this deadly attack.”

According to the Irish Independent newspaper, Mr Mwangi’s mother, Catherine Muigai Mwangi, had recently returned home from Dublin following a six-year posting as Kenya’s ambassador to Ireland.

Mr Kenyatta’s elder sister Christine Wambui Pratt had also been at Westgate at the time of the attack, but managed to escape.

Mitul Shah

Mitul ShahMitul Shah ran his company’s football team, which plays in the second division

A sales and marketing director of Bidco, a company that primarily makes cooking oil, Mitul Shah was also up in the rooftop car park at the cooking competition.

“He died trying to save stranded children. He died as a hero,” Half Jadhe Half Kyuk wrote on the message board.

He described Mitual Shah as a “die-hard Manchester United fan”.

He was also chairman of Bidco’s football team, which plays in the second division.

Peter Simani


Peter Simani was a highly respected lawyer

He and his friend both died in the attack. His friend’s name is not known yet.
An aviation and communications expert and a lawyer by training, Peter Simani was meeting a friend at Westgate mall on Saturday when the militants burst in.

Peter Simani chaired the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal and was also a director of the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK).

Ngene Gituku, chairman of the CCK board, said that Kenya had lost a “brilliant lawyer with an incisive and highly analytical mind”.

“My board highly relied on Mr Simani’s guidance on delicate decisions on legal issues, especially those touching on the regulation of the fast-growing ICT sector,” he said in a statement.

Rajan Solanki

The 24-year-old food entrepreneur died on Saturday. It is likely he was at the food competition taking place in the rooftop car park.

He founded the food website Pika Chakula, which means “cook food” in KiSwahili, with a mission to “teach people how to cook”.

Rajan Solanki Rajan Solanki was passionate about good food

“A very smart gentle man who enjoyed the simple things in life, outgoing and never learnt how to say no. Never had nothing against any one,” said a post on a Facebook page set up to remember him.

His funeral was held on Monday at the Hindu Crematorium in Nairobi.

“To all our Pika Chakula fans. This week we will be posting Rajan Solanki’s favourite dishes and recipes,” the website tweeted on Tuesday.

Neha Mashru

A screengrab from the R.I.P Neha Mashru Facebook page

A student at the private Oshawal Academy near Westgate shopping centre, she died on Saturday during the shoot-out.

“Head girl, dancer, awesome friend,” a Facebook community set up to remember her says.

“A girl who you could talk to about anything,” the post continues.

Vaya sisters-in-law

Screengrab from teh Parajiya Pattni London (PPA) Facebook page, which announced the deaths of Joyti Kharmes Vaya and Maltiben Ramesh Vaya

Joyti Kharmes Vaya was a 37-year-old mother of three whose husband worked for Victoria Commercial bank, it said.

Maltiben Ramesh Vaya was aged 41, a mother of two who worked for the Bank of Baroda.

“Both daughters-in-law succumbed to injuries related to gunshot wounds in yesterday’s terror attack in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall,” a message on Facebook posted by a Pattni Brotherhood community in Nairobi said.

Other Kenyans:

A man looks at a newspaper bearing funeral arrangements of victims of the Westgate mall terrorist attack in Nairobi, on 24 September 2013

Vaya sisters-in-law, Joyti Kharmes Vaya and Maltiben Ramesh Vaya

Joyti Kharmes Vaya was a 37-year-old mother of three, whose husband worked for Victoria Commercial bank, it said.

Maltiben Ramesh Vaya was aged 41, a mother of two, who worked for the Bank of Baroda.

“Both daughters-in-law succumbed to injuries related to gunshot wounds in yesterday’s terror attack in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall,” a message on Facebook posted by a Pattni Brotherhood community in Nairobi said.

Nehal Vekaria's funeral cremation ceremonyNehal Vekaria, a 16-year-old student, has been cremated

Nehal Vekaria: a 16-year-old student. On Sunday, her family held her funeral where she was cremated.


Six Britons are among those killed. None has been formally identified, but they are believed to include Ross Langdon, who had dual Australian and British nationality (see below), and the daughter of Louis Bawa.

Jennah Bawa, eight, had been on a shopping trip with her Kenyan-born mother, Zahira Bawa, on Saturday in Westgate. It is not clear if Zahira has been counted as one of the dead Britons.


Louis Bawa spent agonising hours outside the mall for news of his wife and daughter

“The last time I spoke to them was on Friday evening, I didn’t get a chance to catch up with them on Saturday morning. They were going to Westgate to do what they always did, grocery shopping. This time they didn’t come home,” Mr Bawa told the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.The family lived in Leamington Spa until last year, when lawyer Mrs Bawa is reported to have returned to Kenya to look after her mother. Mr Bawa then took a job as the chief executive of a marketing company in Dubai and began travelling to see his family in Nairobi at weekends.

“Zahira and Jennah were Muslims, but these animals just shot them the same as all of the others,” he told the paper.

Mr Bawa had spent agonising hours outside the shopping mall, hoping to hear from them. He found out on Sunday night that they were among the dead, identifying them from photographs taken of victims inside the shopping centre.

Australia and Holland

Ross Langdon and Elif Yavuz Ross Langdon and Elif Yavuz were expecting their first child next month

Ross Langdon an Australian architect, who grew up in Tasmania and had dual British nationality, died in the shootout along with his Dutch girlfriend, Elif Yavuz, a 33-year-old health worker and Harvard graduate.

Mr Langdon co-founded Regional Associates and worked in East Africa on sustainable architecture projects.

“Profoundly talented and full of life, Ross enriched the lives of all those around him,” the company said on its website.

“Ross’s leadership on projects throughout East Africa was inspirational, and he will be will be very, very sorely missed by us all.”

Peter Adams, a family friend in Tasmania, paid tribute to the couple on his blog: “There just was no dark side to Ross that I ever saw in the 20 or so years I knew him”.

“We all took immense pride in both his architectural abilities and his very generous, positive, and loving personality.”

Amongst his achievements was his “pro-bono” design for an Aids hospital in Kenya, Mr Adams said.

“In Uganda he designed and supervised a unique eco-village employing only local labour,” he added.

Ms Yavuz, who was expecting their first child in two weeks’ time, worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Adams said.


Annemarie Desloges

A 29-year-old Canadian diplomat who served at the country’s high commission in Kenya as a liaison officer with the Canada Border Services Agency.

Her husband, Robert Munk, was injured in the attack but has since been released from hospital, officials said.

Another Canadian had died, but has not been named.


Kofi Awoonor

Kofi Awoonor

The 78-year-old Ghanaian was a renowned poet – regarded as literary royalty at home, where his poetry and novels are considered essential reading at schools.

He was in Nairobi as a participant in the Storymoja Hay Festival and was due to perform on Saturday evening.

He became known for his poetry in the 1960s and was inspired by the singing and oral storytelling of his Ewe ethnic group – his first published collection was called Rediscovery.

In the 1970s he taught at several universities in the US, returning to Ghana in 1975 to take up a position as head of English at the University of Cape Coast.

Within months he was arrested and detained for a year on suspicion of treason during the military rule of Col Ignatius Acheampong.

This provoked protests from Amnesty International and writers such as the beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

He became more politically active after his incarceration, serving as Ghana’s ambassador to Brazil in the 1980s, and – after the country’s return to multi-party democracy – as ambassador to the UN.

Ghana’s President John Mahama said he was shocked by such a sad twist of fate: “A writer, politician and traditionalist with great wit, sense of humour and very well-spoken. He will be sorely missed…”

Mr Awoonor’s son was with him in Nairobi and was shot in the shoulder during the attack.


Sridhar Natarajan

The 40-year-old who died in Westgate was working for a pharmaceutical firm in Nairobi, Indian external ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said on Twitter.

He was from Tamil Nadu in southern India.

Paramshu Jain

The eight-year-old son of a branch manager for the Bank of Baroda also died in the mall, Mr Akbaruddin said.


Juan Jesus Ortiz

A doctor and former deputy head of the Kenyan branch of the UN children’s fund, Juan Jesus Ortiz was at the shopping centre with his 13-year-old daughter Juanita.

The 63-year-old died at the scene, his daughter was shot in the leg and hand and required surgery but is expected to survive, his son, Ricardo Ortiz, told Peru’s RPP radio.

South Korea

Kang Moon-hee

The 38-year-old was fatally wounded from gunshot wounds and shrapnel from a grenade, South Korean’s Yonhap news agency reported.

Sources told the agency she died while being treated at a hospital on Sunday.

Her husband, a British citizen, has received surgery for a gunshot wound and is reportedly currently in stable condition.

According to AFP, the couple had only recently moved to Nairobi from Dubai.

Trinidad and Tobago

Ravindra Ramrattan

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar issued a statement extending condolences to Ravrinda Ramrattan’s family. Mr Ramrattan had been working as a research analyst with the World Bank in Nairobi since September 2011, the statement added.

Other nationals

China: China’s official news agency reported that a 38-year-old Chinese woman had been killed – her teenage son was injured.

France: A mother and daughter were “executed in the parking lot” of Westgate, Helene Conway-Mouret, the French minister in charge of nationals living abroad, told private French channel BFM-TV.

South Africa: One national has died at Westgate, officials said.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s