, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – “I am doing this to help all those affected as they are like my children; all those are Kenyans and for the foreigners, I want them to know we love them,” Nancy Njeri told Capital FM News while serving snacks to the media and police outside the Westgate mall.
The 65-year-old woman has been commuting from Kariobangi in Kasarani constituency since terrorists invaded the mall on Saturday, shooting people at random and taking hostages.
The death toll stood at 62 by Monday with at least 175 injured.
“This is our own country and this incident has touched on everyone. These people have been rained on here and they need something to eat, look at them! they look hungry and tired,” she posed.
“I have been watching this on television. I see wazungu’s (white people), Indians being served by Kenyans. This makes my heart be inundated by joy; it shows we are one.”
On Monday Njeri had arrived at the area secured for the press at 9am but still said; “I was late because of the traffic jam. I wanted to arrive early.”
Mama Muthoni as she requested the Capital FM News reporter to call her, has to leave her small business of selling vegetables for what she termed as the love for her country.
“Those people who have been killed there are children born by mothers like me,” she said amid tears. “Do you know the pain of losing your child? It’s too much my son,” she stated.
Njeri had never been to Westgate before neither has she had a relative involved in the incident.
“I am just a mama mboga, and I get the cabbages in the market near my home. This is a big shop for big things,” she said as if to prove she has never been in the mall.
Using small profit from her business, Njeri has been buying milk and mandazis (snacks) while still using Sh200 for her commuter fees.
“I urge Kenyans to hold hands together. When challenges come, it’s neither mine nor yours,” she appealed.
Asked when she intends to stop doing this, she said, “I will stop when all is well. When all my children inside are safe and out of that place.”
Trusha Shah whose house is within the neighbourhood of the Westgate mall has also been there offering water and juice to the police.
Though a woman in the battlefield, she has not been shaken by the loud bhangs and continuous gunshots, her efforts to quest the thirst with the security personnel have not been deterred.
“I started by giving support to whoever was coming out of the mall by giving him a good hug of love. That’s what they really wanted,” she says.
“They were so shaken up… they could not even move,” she recalled.
“I also remembered that the police needed tea and drinks to keep them holding because they are doing such a nice job.”
Shah also does not have a relative or even a friend involved but she says, “The Kenyan spirit of togetherness has made me do this. We all love Kenya.”