Westgate hero feted by bodyguards group

International Bodyguard Association Director General James Shortt (left) rewards Inayat Kassam on Monday for his heroics during Westgate and dusitD2 attacks. [David Njaaga, Standard]

He put his life on the line to save others, something many would not do.

Inayat Kassam went into Westgate Shopping Mall moments after a terrorist attack in 2013, and rescued several people who were still trapped inside the building.

And in January this year when terrorists entered dusitD2 Hotel on Riverside Drive and started spraying people with bullets, Baron Kassam joined security personnel in rescue efforts.

The International Bodyguard Association (IBA), the largest and oldest organisation for bodyguards worldwide, yesterday feted Kassam for his role in saving lives during the attacks.

The association’s Director General James Shortt of Castleshort, UK, conferred upon Kassam the 60th anniversary medallion and plaque during a ceremony held in Nairobi on Monday afternoon.

In both incidents, Kassam was among the first respondents, helping police and the Recce squad in rescue efforts.

According to Shortt, Kassam is the first person in Africa to receive the award, which has been given to just a handful of individuals around the world.

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Shortt also noted that aside from his role in saving lives, Kassam’s bravery had caught global attention and promoted the association’s ideals.

“I feel great and honoured for receiving the award. I am very proud as a Kenyan for putting the country on the international map,” Kassam told The Standard during the ceremony.

Despite the honour, Kassam insisted that the award was nothing more than an appreciation for his efforts to keep all safe.

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WestgateInternational Bodyguard AssociationInayat KassamdusitD2