Australian man on first trip to Kenya to meet girlfriend among attack victims

Thursday January 17 2019

An Australian man is among 21 people killed by terrorists who stormed Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi on January 15, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


He landed in Kenya from Australia on Sunday morning, checked in at DusitD2 complex in the evening and on Tuesday, he met his death.

This will forever haunt his girlfriend, Esynovian Meli whom he had travelled 10,606 kilometres to come and see. It was his first time in Kenya.

After spending the night together, she left for a lecture at Kenyatta University and promised to catch up with him later so they go swimming at an upmarket hotel.

“We had the last conversation at about 12pm on Tuesday, then I went for my lecture when I was out I got eight of his missed calls. I tried calling back but I could find him on phone,” says Ms Meli.

Then she logged in to her WhatsApp to check the last time he was online, only to find out that the hotel the boyfriend checked in had been attacked.

“I took a motorbike to the hotel but I could not get in. I went to all hospitals where the survivors were rushed to but could not find him. I went Chiromo mortuary on Wednesday morning and he was among the victims,” wept Ms Meli.



A sombre mood, confusion and cries dominated the quiet corridors of Chiromo mortuary as friends and loved ones thronged the facility to identify the bodies their loved ones.

Ms Meli, who is studying fashion and design, had planned to go to Naivasha for a nature tour on Friday together with the boyfriend. 

“My boyfriend wanted to go to a different hotel but I insisted that he checks into DusitD2 complex since is next to our hostels and was more convenient. My boyfriend is no more,” says the 24-year-old Meli.

He had plans to visit Meli’s parents in readiness for their engagement before going back. He was to go back on January 25.

The two met through a common friend.

“My boyfriend, a housing consultant in Australia, had great plans. It is very unfortunate that he had to die such a painful death. I have given his details to the Australian embassy,” she said.


Mr Feisal Ahmed Rashid and his close friend Abdallah Mohammed Dahir were at the Secret Garden Restaurant having lunch at the time of the incident.

The two were identified yesterday the morning.

“One of them was my brother-in-law and the other best friend. It is very sad that most of the victims of the al-Shabaab attack are Muslims,” wept Muhammed Yaasin, who was also in the building but escaped.

Mr Rashid was a cousin of Suna East MP Junet Mohammed.

He condemned the killings and further condoled with other families who lost their loved ones during the terror attack.

"People who call themselves Muslims killing other Muslims. My condolences to all Kenyans who lost their lives,” said the ODM director of elections on Twitter

The two will be buried together at Langata Cemetery.


Mr Jason Spindler, an American CEO and Global Managing Director of I-DEV International, who had a company located at the DusitD2 Complex was also among those who died in the attack.

Ms Essie Mwikali, The Metta Africa Head of Community, memberships and operations, confirmed that there were 45 people at the place when the attack happened and all but Mr Spindler had been accounted for.


Mr James Radido alias Odu Cobra also died during the attack. He was to celebrate his birthday on Tuesday.

Mr Radido, a trained journalist and a football guru ran a YouTube channel called “Wadau TV” that discussed matters football.

In an earlier Tweet, he asked those who were outside to update him on what was happening.

“Waaaah. What is happening at 14 Riverside family? Any news from out there?” reads his last Tweet.

At the time of his death, Mr Radido was an employee of LG Electronics in Kenya.

The Managing Director of LG Electronics in Kenya issued a statement after his death.

According to an insider at the mortuary, by 12pm, 13 bodies had been received. Eleven were Kenyan, one was American and one was British.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in his State of the Nation address yesterday indicated that 14 Kenyans were killed. Later in the evening, police boss Joseph Boinnet said the death toll had risen to 21.​