In Summary
  • How quickly we understand what’s going wrong with young people will determine our success in spotting the bad ones before they can do harm and reform them.
  • Any person who loves themselves would find it difficult to summon the fury and hatred of others that is required to senselessly slaughter people.

I love Nairobi. The city has many annoying things, like traffic, rude drivers and crazy slay queens with guns and flak jackets, but it is like no other in the world.

I have dined at a restaurant in the Opera House in Sydney with spectacular views and pretentious waiters re-enacting something called “silver service” from my university days in Yorkshire.

Students were trained to serve as waiters for big houses, walking with their noses in the air and trays held aloft with the tips of their fingers.

I have been received (among a million other editors attending a conference) in the Kremlin by my dear short friend, Vladimir Putin, been fed there and attended an orchestra and some Bolshevik theatre-type shows.

Moscow makes London look like Karatina; it is an impressive city. I have eaten heavenly steak in LA and Paris.


None of these experiences gives more pleasure than sitting at the Garden in Dusit D2, bickering with my daughters, or having couples dinner in the restaurant with my pastor and his wife.

Heck, D2 is heaven for meeting sources too, especially the kind you don’t want to be seen with. They have these long chairs into which the source can disappear.

It is places like D2 which make Nairobi a lovely and familiar home for all of us; places we visit for work and pleasure, to eat, talk and decompress.

I watched the CCTV footage of the Tuesday terror attack with the same ugly feelings I go through every time militants come to kill us.

The same shiny, cheap wood of the AK-47, the same scarf, the same green ammo harness, the loose limbed gait of the camel herd.

And I think the same thoughts: This fellow has come a long way to kill people he does not know in a dispute they have nothing to do with.

Maybe he thinks he is killing in the name of his religion, which has been discounted many times over.


Ali Salim Gichunge from Isiolo appears to have been an affluent militant.

He could afford to fly his girlfriend to Mombasa to celebrate their first anniversary, having been together as a couple for a year.

He was trained to fight in Somalia in 2015 and only God knows what other ugly things he had planned for us.

His girlfriend, Ms Violet Kemunto Omwoyo, is long gone. She fled before the attack and most likely crossed into Somalia through Mandera.

It appears that Mr Gichunge and his lovely girlfriend were not planning to die just yet: They put on sale their expensive household goods and prepared to live in Somalia or probably abroad — she had been applying for resettlement in the West — after Mr Gichunge went into D2 and possibly slaughtered hundreds of innocent people.


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