alexa Journalist’s last media update - Daily Nation

Journalist’s last media update

Saturday September 21 2013

Ms Ruhila Adatia (centre), an East FM presenter, in a photograph she posted on Instagram moments before the gun attack at Westgate Shopping Mall Saturday.

Ms Ruhila Adatia (centre), an East FM presenter, in a photograph she posted on Instagram moments before the gun attack at Westgate Shopping Mall Saturday. 

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A few hours after she arrived at the Westgate shopping mall Saturday morning, Radio Africa Group presenter Ruhila Adatia-Sood posted several photographs on her Instagram account and linked that to Twitter.

She was clad in a loose black top and black trousers with a blue and orange necklace completing the look.

Ruhila was in the parking lot of the upscale mall for Sungold Sunrice Superchef, a cooking competition sponsored by the rice brand, which she was hosting.

She posted a total of eight photos on Instagram, with her fans, with her colleagues and some of those who won prizes with bags of rice in their hands.

That was her last activity on social media.

About three hours after news of an attack on Westgate mall began spreading on social media, the first Twitter posts about her emerged.


Of the many who lost their lives in the attack yesterday, Ruhila may be the most familiar.

Kenyans are most likely to recognise her bubbly voice reading entertainment news on Kiss TV, Kiss 100 and XFM. Perhaps as a sign of her popularity, there was a page in her memory on Facebook last evening.

On her Twitter page, Ruhila Adatia-Sood described herself as a “food lover, thrill seeker and a bungee jump away from sanity.” “Always looking for my next meal,” she also says on her profile on the East FM website.

A fun-loving person, Ruhila is described on the East FM website as a “TV presenter by day and superhero in the evenings as I get you home in the traffic mess.”

She adds, with a twist of that familiar fun-loving person that she, “believes there’s not enough reality television. Farhan Akhtar (an Indian filmmaker, writer, singer TV host and actor) is my hubby, DiCaprio is my iceberg.”

A graduate of Rhodes University in Grahamstown in South Africa, she used to co-host The Rush on Metro East FM with Gupz Saund.

Ruhila married Ketan Sood in January 2012 in what The Star on January 9 said was a three-day Swahili-themed wedding. She was pregnant with their first child.

In an interview published in The Star in September 2012, the last-born in a family of four girls is described by her sisters as a go-getter.

Said Farah Adatia Gomes: “Ruhila loved reading, listening to music and watching TV though she never really got to watch what she wanted as most of the time we used to bully her into watching and listening to what we wanted. She was charming and outgoing, always a leader.”

East FM, a radio station whose target audience is Kenyan Asians, was holding a children’s event at the roof top parking of Westgate Mall when gunmen struck Saturday.

Information posted on the firm’s Facebook page a few hours before the fatal shooting shows that the occasion was the second round of the SunGold SunRice Junior Super Chef Competition, the first of which was held at the same time and place last Saturday.

The children competiting were to prepare a starter or main dish accompanied by a desert.

“We are super excited!! Do join us on Saturday from 11am onwards at Westgate roof top for the 2nd round of Sungold Sunrice SuperChef Junior! See you there and do share this post!,” Kamal Kaur, an East FM presenter, wrote.

Ms Kaur attended the event which she tells the Sunday Nation was “packed with kids”.

And after the competition began, Ms Kaur said they heard popping noises.

“We heard what sounded like firecrackers,” she said, narrating how the group then ran to the edge of the parking lot and looked over to see people streaming out of the mall.

She then ran to find her son and they tried to get the children out through the Java service entry.

“One man shot at my son, but he managed to duck. He was wearing blue jeans, a black T-shirt, sunglasses and an Arabic headscarf (kaffiya) wrapped around his head. He was holding a big automatic weapon, and I could see a pistol sticking out of his pocket.”

East FM radio presenter Aleem Manji, who was also with Ms Kaur, was reported injured.

Reported by JOHN NGIRACHU Twitter: @JohnNgirachu [email protected] and CARLOS MUREITHI Twitter: @carlosmureithi [email protected]