Woman who left Murang’a home 27 years ago returns to grave of her mistaken identity, says she lacked fare

By Wangari Njuguna On Wed, 21 Jul, 2021 16:06 | 2 mins read
Susan Nyambura (centre ) Wangari's mother overwhelmed with joy after welcoming her back home. PHOTO/WANGARI NJUGUNA

A family in Gaturi village in Kiharu Murang’a is in confusion after daughter they thought they buried 27 years ago resurfaced two days ago.

Hannah Wangari is said to have left her home back in 1994 after a dispute when she was 15 years old and her family could not trace her. They gave up on searching for her. 

In 2006 however, another woman bearing the same name as her was very ill at Mathari Hospital in Nyeri and she was looking for her family after being apart for 12 years.

Her in-laws went to a local radio station and had an announcement made that she was looking for her family. 

In a striking coincidence, the two women came from the same village, had similar names and their parents bore the same names.

Susan Nyambura, Wangari’s mother said they rushed to Mathari hospital to see if this was their daughter who disappeared 12 years ago.

She said it was hard to recognize her as she had grown weak because the illness had taken toll on her but because the names coincided they were convinced she was the one.

“She looked emaciated and we could barely recognize her but we managed to talk” she said.

However few days later she died and was buried in Mucharage village in Othaya where she was married.

Years later, the daughter the deceased had sired got a suitor but her bride price could not be paid because the same had not been done for the mother.

The in-laws had to pay the bride price as dictated by the traditions and this strengthed their relationship more.

“We attended the burial because we were convinced that this was our daughter,” said the mother.

However, three days ago Hannah Wangari appeared to her family which came as a rude shock to them.

She first landed at her uncle’s home in Konguini where she was living before disappearing and they thought it was a ghost but she told them she was alive.

“My family told me they buried me a long time ago but that was a different person who we shared a similar name,” she said.

Wangari who is now 42 years old, a mother of five and a grandmother said she went to work as a househelp in Limuru Kiambu and later got married.

Their marriage was however rocked in financial constraints which made it difficult for her to come back home for lack of fair.

“I have always wanted to come back home but was not able to due to financial problems,” she said.

Wangari who is a casual labourer said she will be going back to Limuru as the schools reopen but will maintain constant contact with the family.

Her uncle John Ndegwa said they shall be reaching out to the other family whose daughter died and reach out to the in-laws in Nyeri to negotiate on how they shall return the bride price.

He however said they are happy that their daughter has returned home after being away for many years.

“It is very important when our children get married that the families get to meet and know each other to avoid such incidents,” he said.

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