Ms Loise Njoki and her friend James Kuria boarded a Safari Air Express flight at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi, for Somalia. Three hours later, they landed at Mogadishu, the capital city of the country that has been struggling with instability for many years.
The two had secured jobs as administrators at a herbal clinic owned by their Kenyan friend. Two weeks later, their employer moved them to Adado, a town in the central Galgudud region of Somalia. The business was adjacent to their residence and their employer had hired armed guards and a Somali-English and Kiswahili translator to assist them in their work.
However, six months later, the two, who hail from Njoro in Nakuru County and Gatundu South in Kiambu, respectively, were abducted by gunmen. Ms Njoki was detained for 23 months and Mr Kuria 15. They were kidnapped on November 24, 2014 at around 7pm. The kidnappers demanded a Sh100 million ransom for each before releasing them — an amount that was impossible to raise.
But on Sunday at around 3am, Ms Njoki was rescued in a well-coordinated operation by the Galgudud Special Forces. Mr Kuria had been rescued in February by the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency in a 2am operation. Ms Njoki was reunited with her family and friends on Tuesday evening at exactly 7:36pm, having landed at Wilson Airport, Nairobi, an hour before. The relatives and friends, who included Mr Kuria, broke into song and dance as some shed tears of joy when Ms Njoki walked out.