I Almost Died but Allan Namu Saved my Life-Boniface Mwangi

  • Boniface Mwangi in hospital after he sustained injuries during a protest.
    Boniface Mwangi in hospital after he sustained injuries during a protest.
    File
  • Renowned Activist Boniface Mwangi recalled an incident on January 15, 2010, where fellow journalist John Allan Namu saved his life during a protest at Jamia Mosque, Nairobi County.

    The protests pitted radical followers of Muslim leader Sheikh al Faisal against city traders.  

    Violence ensued after the traders, who were irritated by the unending protests and slurs from the youths, started pelting stones at the traders as police rushed to the scene to calm the situation.

    Boniface Mwangi been assisted by a cameraman during a protest.
    Boniface Mwangi been assisted by a cameraman during a protest.
    File

    An unfortunate ordeal saw one of the youths shot as chaos soon followed. Bonnie's instinctive journalistic nature kicked in as he hurried to the scene to frame the shot.

    What followed was the activist falling and lying helpless on the ground as one of the stones had struck his head. He noted that he couldn't comprehend his surroundings as he felt dizzy. As luck would have it, his counterpart John Allan Namu came to his aid and pulled him to safety. 

    "I had been struck on the head by a stone. Everyone fled. John-Allan Namu saved my life that day. He rushed over to where I was lying helpless and pulled me to safety, " he narrated.

    Photographer, Allan Gichigi also came to Bonnie's aid by taking him to the hospital where he underwent treatment for a week. Five people reportedly died from the chaos on that fateful day.

    Boniface Mwangi said that his new lease on life enabled him to photograph Namu's wedding and also bag his second CNN African Journalist of the year for his outstanding work of children shot in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. 

    He was also the toast of the town during this year's Encounters South African International Documentary Festival held on August 31. The Kenyan movie, Softie, which is based on his life, won the Best African Documentary Film Award.

    Taking the lead role in the mini-documentary, the vocal activist gave an in-depth look into his life. The film documents his audacious 2017 bid to run for the Starehe Constituency legislative office, under the Ukweli Party ticket. 

    Boniface Mwangi (left) and Allan Namu (center).
    Boniface Mwangi (left) and Allan Namu (center).
    File