There is widespread disbelief and somewhat bemusement among expats and locals in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, after a British national went missing but was found four days later drinking in a slum bar on the city’s outskirts.
Last Tuesday, friends of 22-year old Nelson Newbery, originally from London, sounded the alarm after the young professional vanished from Sarit Centre, an upmarket shopping mall in the relatively posh district of Westlands, Western Nairobi.
Days passed without any news and concerned friends and relatives made frantic efforts to find Newbery.
His picture was widely shared among hundreds of expats in Nairobi and a missing persons poster (below) went viral on social media.
Newbery was last seen on Tuesday morning, when he had gone to the Westlands mall for a SIM card replacement.
However, news came in on Friday that the start-up executive, who only moved to Nairobi in June, was found at a local pub in Uthiru, Kiambu county, where he was drinking ‘keg’ with local revellers.
Keg is an affordable, alternative beer to more established and thus more expensive brews.
The young man has since been reunited with his father who had jetted in from the UK to the good news of his son being found.
Newbery was been taken to a local hospital for medical treatment.
In a statement, the Newbery family said: “The family of Nelson Newbery is very grateful to have located Nelson and want to share their appreciation to his friends, colleagues and the larger Kenyan community for the concern and outpouring of support.”
Newbery’s family further said that: “We also want to express our deep gratitude to the CID and Kenyan authorities for their assistance in helping locate Nelson. Nelson is safe and with his family. The family would request some privacy at this time.”
Murder of Kate Mitchell
It is the second time in just a year that a Nairobi-based Brit makes headlines in Kenya.
In November last year, Kate Mitchell, a senior project manager at BBC Media Action, was murdered in Nairobi.
It emerged that Mitchell, who was found murdered in her hotel room after being stabbed, had drinks with her alleged killer in the bar of the Nairobi hotel where she was staying.
The prime suspect in the murder of the British journalist had booked a room with his girlfriend at the same hotel as Mitchell.
Tamati Mauti had reportedly checked in at the IBIS luxury establishment as where the BBC veteran was staying in Westlands, one of Nairobi’s most upmarket areas.
After having drinks with Mitchell in the hotel bar, Mauti followed her back to her room on the eight floor, Nairobi’s Standard newspaper reported.
The BBC said it was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Kate Mitchell, who had worked with the broadcaster for 14 years in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zambia and London.
The BBC described Mitchell as “positive, fun, driven and extremely talented” and said her work made a huge difference to communities across the globe, addressing poverty and inequality.
The broadcaster said at the time it was working with the Government to establish the circumstances around Mitchell’s death, although it believes it was not linked to her work.
The case remains unsolved.