Recently I came across a spirited campaign by one lady on Facebook searching for her long lost cousin. She was taking no prisoners, from the people who were last seen with her missing cousin to the police officers, the people who were rumoured to have been enamored with her to her employer's spouse. She was a fiercely determined woman.
This brave lady's story resonated deeply with me because I too have lost a person dear to me. At least with death one can finally make peace with the morbid reality but when an adult drops from the face of the earth the helplessness that engulfs the relatives and other people close to them is deep, there is no closure whatsoever. You see my Paternal aunt, a woman I have known and loved all my life just disappeared. Sadly the presumption of death can be applied as no one has heard from or seen her in more than 7 years. All efforts to trace her have brought no results. Maybe we should try harder we keep telling ourselves. At first I thought it was not my problem after all her brothers, sisters and parents were there, but slowly i began to realise that we all needed to pull together. it was overwhelming. the trail was sickening, the authorities cant seem to act without details that frankly speaking we do not have.
At times my Facebook wall looks like a missing persons bureau, but I must share the numerous missing persons photos I come across almost daily. I jubilate when some are found but share the sadness of the many that never come back with positive news. The statistics on missing persons especially children pulled off the internet are boggling. missing adults still seem not to get much attention. It is assumed that most adults disappear willingly and will return before 48 hours are up. I do not believe any adult would disappear for more than 7 years willingly especially when there had been no major fall out in the family. How can an African not attend their own father's funeral, its simply unfathomable. The cases of human trafficking I have read are even more scarier and as a person with a missing relative I seem to have scoured enough material on the subject of human trafficking to know what a grave reality it is among us. women are trafficked for reasons raging from prostitution to domestic slavery. It is a vice that we all need to raise our voices against.
Dionisia Njoki Kirembui, if you ever read this, we love you and we miss you please let us know if you are well (or not). We would have loved to mourn with you when we lost Uma and Mama Murethii. Oh Mwakarimu your grandmother finally kissed the world goodbye in style after more than a hundred years, only you would have recited the tale beautifully for posterity. we would have loved to celebrate with you at the graduations, births and wonderful achievements of your nieces and grandchildren.
As a family we continue to hope that you will return to us and we keep doing our best to find you.
Ps; forgive me for all the times I laughed at your first name.