Letter from Africa: What is it like to report a terror attack?

In our series of letters from African journalists, Waihiga Mwaura, a news anchor for Citizen TV in Kenya, looks back on a traumatic week following the deadly hotel siege in Nairobi.

It all began with a phone call from my wife.

I was in a meeting at work, but something told me that this was urgent, so I stepped away from my colleagues and picked up the phone.

Her tone immediately set me on edge and she was speaking faster than she usually does.

With no time for the usual pleasantries she asked if I was OK.

I responded in the affirmative before she quickly told me that something terrible was happening at the bank compound she was in along Riverside Drive, in the Westlands neighbourhood of the capital, Nairobi.

She said it had been locked down, with no-one allowed to leave or enter the premises.

‘It was a very terrifying moment’

Before I could ask her why, I heard loud sounds behind her, multiple gunshot rounds and a lot of commotion.

Turns out that, at that exact moment, about five al-Shabab militants were attacking the complex at 14 Riverside – the compound housing a hotel and offices – just down the road from my wife’s location at time.

It was a very terrifying moment and I was unsure what to do. I put her on hold and rushed to the newsroom to find out exactly what was happening.

I bumped into one of our managers who had also received the same information and he immediately asked me to prepare to go on air to break the story.

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News