Ezekiel Ayieta, a 70-year-old man who disappeared from his Nyangoge home in Nyamira County at the age of 25 was forced to return home due to COVID-19. Ayieta reunited with his family who had forgotten him after 45 years.
According to Standard, when Ayieta disappeared, he had been living in Central Kenya ever since keeping no touch with his family. Ideally, he was referred to as Omonyamwaka, in his home village, a term used for people who went away and forgot about their families.
“We had forgotten about him and as his kinsmen, we had assumed he may have died in the forest and animals had feasted on him,” said Bishop Kennedy Changamu, his nephew, who was only 10 years old when Ayieta left home.
The details of Ayieta’s disappearance from home is linked to the search for greener pastures in the Mt Kenya region where he embarked on a journey with five of his friends.
Apparently, things did not go as planned as their intention was to engage in Timber business but five years into the job, they were replaced by sawmills and other technology used to plank woods. Four of his friends are currently deceased.
Until a week ago, Ayieta had been living at Tigania and Mikinduri working in farms. He showed up at his village looking frail and sickly, with his nephew Bishop Changamu the only family member able to identify him.
To the majority of the villagers who took to their heels upon seeing him, he was viewed as a ghost.
“I found four young men, who didn’t want to greet me because they thought I was an intruder. I was saddened because my youngest brother, whom I recognized very well, disowned me, until when Changamu identified me,” Ayieta said.
According to Ayieta, the thought of succumbing to COVID-19 without his family by his side prompted him to go back home and seek closure.
“I had no alternative but to find my own family to bury me in case I die,” he said.