NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – Westgate Mall attack survivor Rachael Muraya’s dream of owning a salon has finally come true.
Neither the attackers of the Westgate Mall attack nor the lifetime injuries she suffered have deterred her dream of going back to her beloved beauty industry.
Twenty-eight-year-old Rachael was a beautician working on the second floor of the Westgate mall when Al Shabaab terrorists stormed the mall killing 68 people.
She was one of the lucky survivors who despite losing her right foot and suffering deep shrapnel injuries on her left foot, did not give up.
When Capital FM News visited her home in Zimmerman in January 2010, Rachael could hardly walk.
Her brother Ken used to carry her on his back from the second floor of their tiny flat in Zimmerman to the ground floor whenever she needed to go for medical appointments.
When Capital FM News checked on her during the first anniversary of the Westgate Mall attack, despite the hustle and suffering of her journey to recovery, Rachael said she forgave the terrorists for taking away her foot.
One year after the attack, Rachael could still not walk without support.
But Wednesday marked the beginning of Rachael’s greatest achievement since she lost her foot during the attack in September, 2013. Walking with support of one crutch, Rachael walked to a podium and addressed her guests.
Half of her speech was dominated by ‘thank you’ in appreciation to everyone who had contributed to getting her back on her feet.
Friends, relatives, organisations and the media gathered at the Kenya Red cross Society offices in South C to witness God fulfilling her two-year prayer of opening her own salon.
It is her dream and determination to pick up from the pieces that attracted Kenya Red Cross Society and Safaricom to contribute around Sh1 million for her to open a state of the art salon at the Boma Hotel in South C.
“We settled our final account and we had some money that was left…Rachel was the first Westgate attack survivor who said I was working in a salon and my dream is to have my own place,” Abbas Gullet KRCS Secretary General explained.
Rachael is now not an employee but an employer of five other needy Kenyans. But that does not mean she just sits to manage the salon.
She still can do manicures, pedicures, facial scrubs, massages and washing clients’ hairs.
“I now have my right foot amputated. I can still do most of the work I used to do. I of course can’t stand for long like I used to do before I was attacked in September. I am very happy and I thank God,” she said.