Published: September 26, 2013
Burnham man visited Nairobi mall where terrorists killed 72

A Burnham-On-Sea resident says security was tight at the Kenyan shopping mall where 72 people died in a terrorist siege when he visited it earlier this month.

Michael Turner visited the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi on September 3rd and says he feels relieved not to have been involved.

He says security at the mall was visible during his visit, which was more than two weeks before the incident.

"At the entrance I was scanned for metal objects by two guards, although there were no more guards that I noticed inside," he told

"I always knew a strike in Kenya was possible, but the citizens were very confident they were safe because everyone is scanned at the entrance to every office block and supermarket. I feel very lucky not have been involved."

Michael added that was in the country to visit a friend. "I visited the Westgate Shopping Mall on Tuesday 3rd September with a Kenyan friend, Peter Matula, who is pictured here with me outside his tin shack in Nairobi."

"Like most Kenyans, Peter is too poor to buy anything from a supermarket."

"I went to the mall to experience the best shopping complex in the country."

"It was not as good as Cribbs Causeway here in the UK - the shops are not as intensively stocked. I had lunch on the third floor and a coffee on the ground floor."

Michael has spent much of his life writing about the British explorer, Sir Francis Drake, and following his footsteps through overseas travel, which recently featured here.

Michael's travels will continue in October when he visits Oman, Nepal and Tibet to make several educational videos. His video series, called Turner's Travels, are being filmed with the aim of inspiring secondary school children to see beyond their GCSE exams. "I made the first of the latest videos at a very poor primary school among the tin shacks of Nairobi," he says.

During his time in Kenya over the summer, Michael also taught the daughter of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. He tutored young Arubai for three weeks at a summer school in July.


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