Renowned Kenyan TV journalist escapes death by a whisker after being roughed up by 100 armed youth - She recounts the harrowing experience.


Tuesday, February 6, 2024 - Former BBC journalist, Namukabo Werungah, has recalled an incident in which she and her four colleagues nearly lost their lives after being accosted by rowdy youth armed with crude weapons when they were on an assigement.

Werungah, who had a stint at NTV, was in the company of her driver, a fixer, and two other individuals.

Read her long Facebook post narrating the harrowing experience in the hands of the rowdy youth.

On Thursday, I travelled out of town (Nairobi) on a work assignment. There were five of us. Driver, fixer, and two DOPs. I had done some groundwork (including informing all relevant authorities) and assessed the risks, or so I thought.

We left Nairobi at 4:30 a.m., and after a few hours, we were almost there, so we decided to start filming. We got out of the car at a small center and began filming. There were only two or three people because it was early in the morning. We exchanged greetings and moved to an isolated location to film.

Within five minutes, we were surrounded by approximately 20-30 people. Initially, it was curiosity, but one person appeared agitated and suspicious of us. We explained why we were there, but he didn't believe us and started making serious accusations.

Suddenly, everyone in the crowd believed him, and things quickly became violent. We offered to leave, but they would not let us. They barricaded the car tyres with massive stones and threatened to burn it.

At this point, there were hundreds, angry and armed with various weapons. Only one of us (the fixer) could understand and speak one of their languages. The rest of us relied on him to get us out of that situation. I could see he was struggling. Diplomacy was obviously not working. There were several suggestions of how to kill us. The options were by burning us, stoning us, or using crude weapons.

This is a remote location with a decades-long history of conflict, so the lack of trust is enormous. They didn’t believe a word we said and even after supplying all the documents they demanded, they still had doubts.

While pleading for our lives (at this time, we were surrounded by hundreds of people), we requested that they take us to the police rather than kill us. This aggravated them even more because it confirmed their suspicions that we were working with authorities. Our request to be taken to the area chief was met with the same hostility.

Almost 20 minutes in, I realized that we might not make it out of there alive. I remembered the young bikers who were killed in Kajiado (NB: We were not in Kajiado), and I was almost certain we would go the same way. I prayed that they use one of the crude weapons for a quick death. Not fire please, I told God. I zoned out and began to reflect on my life, making peace with my God, etc, etc,.

Long story short, we lived.

I must mention and thank the Media Council of Kenya, Boniface Mwangi, my colleague Patrick Gathara, and the local police, who all responded with unimaginable speed.

Most importantly, God. I surely saw his goodness!

 The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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