Mother and daughter meet after 20 years
Posted Sunday, September 2 2012 at 23:30
- Parents separate, then father takes five and nine-year-old girls to Mozambique without anyone’s knowledge
She was only five years old when her father took her to Mozambique, and until her homecoming last week, she had not seen her mother in 20 years.
So it was all joy and tears as the family in Murang’a was reunited with one of the siblings who “got lost”.
Ms Laurinda Wambui Sikota’s grandmother, Mama Ruth Wambui, 72, terms the re-union a miracle. And so do the other relatives in Kinyona village of Kigumo.
Ms Sikota, 25 and her sister Zoya Simau, 29, were both taken away by their Mozambican father after their mother, Ms Lucy Waithira, and their father separated.
At the time, the family was living in Kawangware in Nairobi. Ms Wathira was teaching tailoring while her husband, Mr Ignus Simao Sikota, was a teacher at a nearby school.
On Sunday, Ms Wambui who is named after her grandmother, spoke to the Nation in the grandmother’s wooden house. Her eyes were filled with tears, as were her half-brother Anthony Kamau’s and aunt Margaret Nyambura’s.
“It is great to be home after all those years,” she said.
It all began one weekend 20 years ago when the two girls, who often went out on weekends with their father, were picked up as usual.
“Despite the separation, our dad would take us out and there was nothing unusual that day,” said Ms Wambui who is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
What the five and nine-year-olds didn’t know was that their father planned to take them away to his native land without anybody else’s knowledge.
Ms Wambui said she only realised something was amiss after they went to Tanzania and stayed for a month without going back home despite constant pleas by her sister Zoya.
“Dad would say we would go back home one day. I’m happy the day has finally come despite the many years,” she joked.
She said their father took them to Pemba and they later flew to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, where they enrolled in school while their father secured a well-paying job.
Back home in Kenya, the rest of the family, including Mr Kamau who was then 13, and their mother, were thrown into panic as they tried desperately to look for the two girls.
“We even reported to the police about their disappearance, but no action was taken. Later we knew their dad had taken them away,” he said.
Ms Wambui says they forgave their father for what happened. He has since died.
“We lived a good life, went to school,” she said.