Kakamega woman abducted by househelp traces her home after 25 years

Elizabeth Amwayi  when she reunited with her mother Margaret Netia Akhanyinya. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Born 33 years ago, Elizabeth Amwayi was stolen by a house help when she was only eight. 

Days after her abduction, the suspect was was arrested but the police could not return her to her parents as the minor could not help trace her home.

She spent three months at Kabete Police Station before being taken to Nairobi Childrens’ Home and three months later to Ministry of Charity in Huruma where a woman called Colletta adopted her and renamed her Rose Mumbua Muendo.

For 25 years, Mumbua’s disappearance left her family mystified. Her father developed health complications and died in 2000 around the same time she was adopted by Colleta.

All along, Mumbua knew her roots were somewhere in Western Kenya but couldn't figure out exactly where. She could recall the names of her parents and younger brother.

But last week she located her roots at Ibinda village in Khwisero constituency in the company of her younger sibling Kevin Amwayi.

Now a mother of two, Mumbua said her desire to trace her home intensified two months ago.

“I visited TikTok and talked to a local radio journalist who helped highlight my plight.  Barely one week after my story was aired, the radio station called me notifying me that my kin were looking for me,” she says.

She travelled from Ukambani where she lives with her foster mother to meet her brother in Nairobi.

“I put up at Kevin’s place for one week as we planned to travel home together. Kevin could not believe the entire episode because it sounded like a dream,” she says.

 “It was a rich encounter as Kevin brought me to speed with all the family happenings that mattered in the 25 years I was away. Much was existing save for the news of the death of my father.”

Kevin says he could not believe it when he heard his sister’s story on the radio. “I was always reminded by my relatives that I had a sister who got lost many years ago. I thank God for bringing her back home in good health.”

Last weekend, the two booked a bus to their rural home where Mumbua had yearned to set foot in a bid to connect with her roots.

She even visited her father’s grave. “He was a loving father. It is sad he died before he could locate me,” she said as tears rolled down her cheeks.

Her mother, Margaret Netia, could also not hold back tears as they hugged. They talked, cried, laughed and cried again.

“I don’t know what to say but thank God for the miracle,” said Netia.