Student tells of how music fan met death

Twenty-three-year-old Elias Magangi Nyangwono, one of the survivors of the Garissa University College attack, narrates his ordeal on April 7, 2015 at Nation Centre. Controversy erupted on Wednesday over the actual death and injury list of students from last week’s Garissa University College terror attack. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI |

What you need to know:

  • Lives of two out of six young men who shared room snuffed out.
  • Roommate probably did not hear gunshots as he always wore headphones.

He always wore his headphones, even when asleep. He loved country music and it is likely that he did not hear the gunshots. He died, probably with music playing.

Mr Elias Magangi Nyangwono, 23, on Tuesday recollected how one of his roommates at the Garissa University College, Isaac Bushen Kosgei, met his death.

“It was at 5.30am when I was woken up by the sound of explosions. I later discovered that they were gunshots. I jumped out of bed, followed by my roommates. I assumed Kosgei was with us,” said Mr Magangi, fighting back tears.

Mr Magangi dashed out of their room, number 17, and looked down from the third floor.

“I saw one of the terrorists. He was in a group of Al-Shabaab terrorists. His pockets were bulging. His face was covered except the eyes. I saw him shoot at people on the ground floor. They were Christian Union members who had been attending morning prayers. They killed all of them,” he said.

“We took the stairs, praying that the terrorists would not get to us. We sneaked out, went over the fence and ran into the darkness. It was while running that I realised that there were only three of us out of the six people from our room,” he added.

It dawned on the three that Mr Kosgei probably did not hear the gunshots. He was killed together with Gideon, another roommate. The third one, Daniel, was found by the Kenya Defence Forces hiding on the roof.

Indeed, Mr Kosgei had a passion for music. On his Facebook page, Pop Lord Bushen, he always talked about music and how he wanted to be a DJ.

Mr Magangi is a first year education student at the university college. He joined the institution in September last year.


He said while in their room, they would discuss their plans — Mr Kosgei joining the music industry while the rest would teach Geography and Business Studies after graduating in 2018.

Mr Magangi is hurt that he will never see his two roommates — Kosgei and Gideon.

When he left his home in Kisii to join the institution, Mr Magangi was aware of the insecurity in the region.

“I was, however, told that they would never attack students. I was told by some of my relatives who live there that we would be safe. Even the government assured us of our safety. The two deaths and what I saw will greatly affect my studies,” he said.

Mr Magangi has not yet undergone trauma counselling following the ordeal he went through on April 2.