DusitD2 Hotel manager who died helping colleagues and guests to safety
Bernadette Konjalo’s 10 year career in the hotel industry was tragically ended by terrorists during the attack at 14 Riverside office complex that left 21 people dead.
Ms Konjalo, the revenue director at DusitD2 Hotel, died while helping colleagues and guests to safety after the first gunshots rent the air.
Her cousin Camillus narrated how on hearing the news of the attack from the media, alongside her sister they tried calling her but both her lines were switched off.
They proceeded to the scene but could not get any information on whether she was among those who escaped or those rescued in the beginning.
“We stayed there just waiting until 2am when some of her friends who had followed two ambulances to Chiromo Mortuary came back and asked us to accompany them as they had seen what looked like her body.
“We went to the mortuary and since some of her friends were still there, they showed us the body they thought was hers but we were in denial until we saw a birth mark,” he narrated.
Colleagues recounted how after the first blast, Ms Konjalo tried to inquire what was going on but moments later when they heard gunshots she started directing people to exit the hotel for safety.
The attackers advanced towards the hotel’s entrance where she was standing guiding people and she quickly retreated inside with a group of colleagues.
She was however shot on her left hand that was positioned as if to guard her face which had a gunshot wound on the right side.
Ms Konjalo had previously worked at Tribe Hotel for six years before moving to DusitD2 Hotel in March 2014 where she started off as an assistant front office manager and rose to become a director of revenue.
The last born in a family of four who was fondly referred to as Titi, she was a people-person and was paying her cousins’ and other relatives’ school fees as well as supporting her nuclear family.
Online, her friends who had nicknamed her as B eulogized her, writing tributes that further demonstrated her character.
A friend Georges Nato wrote; “Bernadette Konjalo you are one tough mama! As others ran for safety you encouraged them and showed them the way from behind like a True leader!!! I shed tears for you as my hero my dear friend, your bravery is greatly admired!!! You sacrificed your life for others, your story will be told for generations to come, you will not be forgotten!”
Mercy Shiks stated; “The cruel Dusit hotel attack took…her…so sad…my former classmate & bed mate!! Rip Bernadette Konjalo.”
Wakesho Mwashigadi commented; “Spoke to you on Monday morning little did I know that I was saying goodbye to you mrembo. Been calling you Jana in vain. Shine on your way beautiful.”
Livie Manjeri wrote; “Rest in peace Queen B. Heaven just gained an angel. ?”