Tears of joy engulfed a family in Kongo-ini area in Murang’a East sub-County after their daughter who mysteriously disappeared 27 years ago returned home.
Hannah Wangari, then a 14-year-old girl, vanished into thin air in 1994 while she was working as a house help in Limuru, Kiambu County.
Wangari, now 41, reportedly disagreed with her then employer and decided to leave the home. Instead of going back to her family, she met a man and got married.
But the marriage got off to a rocky start due to financial hardships that made it impossible for Wangari to visit her family.
After a long search that lasted months, Wangari’s family gave up. But in 2006, they got hope of finally finding their daughter. This was after hearing a radio announcement that a woman with a familiar name was gravely ill and had been admitted at Mathari Hospital in Nyeri.
According to the announcement, the woman wished to see her parents on her death bed.
“We were shocked to hear our names on radio but happy that she had eventually been found,” her father, Joseph Mwangi said.
Wangari’s parents went to the hospital only to find a woman that was too frail to be identified. She could not even speak.
Unfortunately, she passed away barely a week later. Wangari’s parents connected with her husband’s family and attended her burial in Nyeri.
“We had no reason to doubt that it was her because she was too thin and had left when she was only 14 years old,” Mwangi added.
Things took a drastic turn on Monday evening, July 19 when the real Wangari appeared at her aunt’s homestead, accompanied by her five children.
When she identified herself, a shell-shocked aunt screamed, calling her husband, who at this moment was at the cows’ pen.
“She told me someone is in our home claiming to be our niece Wangari so I came out to have a look at her,” John Ndegwa said.
Ndegwa who stayed with Wangari and her brother when they were young broke into tears of joy and slaughtered a goat to celebrate her return.
“I was shocked that the person we thought had died had come back to life but it was a good shock. She was not only alive but had a family of her own. 27 years is such a long time,” he said.
On Wednesday, the entire Kamuiru village was invited to the feast to celebrate with the family.
Wangari explained that she kept on planning to visit her family but she never raised enough money over the same.
She is a casual laborer in Limuru and mostly washes clothes to feed her family. Her firstborn is 24 years and has given her two grandchildren.
Her other children are in school. “I m shocked to find that they thought I had died but I am happy to be reunited with my family.”
She says she will have to go back to Limuru due to school re-opening but promised to keep in touch with her family.