Kenyan Woman Reveals Why She Left Her Kids And Fled 45 Years Ago

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A 71 year old woman has just reunited with her family after 45 years. This Kenyan woman reveals secret of how she fled her home without her kids.Read more..

When 71 year old Agnes Wanza fled her matrimonial home in 1974, she had only one resolve – to begin life anew. For 45 years, she bore the burden of deep secrets, until she recently yielded to the nudging of her children. This Kenyan woman reveals secret of why she fled her home at Mwingi Central, Kitui County, leaving her kids behind.

She changed her identity and remarried.

Kenyan Woman Reveals Why She Left Her Kids And Fled 45 Years Ago

Ms Wanza (3rd left) poses for a photo after reuniting with her children in Gankere village, Meru County on August 11, 2019. PHOTO | DAILY NATION KENYA

Wanza resolved to change her identity, starting with a new name. Agnes Wanza became Grace Kasyoka. Grace’s husband, Charles Kirima died in 2015. He never discovered that his wife was once married with three children. The couple lived in Gankere village with their six sons who eventually pressured their mother to give up her secrets.

“My father had died without knowing where my mother came from and I was afraid that with her advanced age, we might never know our roots. I challenged her jokingly if she had other children because I regarded myself the first born.

“She looked shocked and angry at the same time and I realised I had touched a raw nerve. So she admitted that she indeed had another child by the name Mwikali but did not name the others. She also mentioned the name of the village she came from,” narrated Pastor Moses Kiriinya, 41.

Armed with this information, the clergyman mobilised his five brothers. And together, they embarked on a tour of Waita village. In Ukambani, despite producing a picture of their mother, they were treated with suspicion. Until an uncle noticed some resemblance between one of the sons and the woman.

Following a two year family conversation, the two families on Sunday held an elaborate get-together. About 80 kinsmen from Ukambani were present at the re-union in Gankere in Imenti North, Meru County. Wanza’s first child, Ms Mwikali Katee, was in nursery school when her mother left. She said many family members presumed that their mother had died.

At the reunion on Sunday

Kenyan Woman Reveals Why She Left Her Kids And Fled 45 Years Ago

Ms Wanza’s sons during the family reunion in Gankere village, Meru County on August 11, 2019. PHOTO | DAILY NATION KENYA

Ms Katee recounted the problems she faced after her father married another wife. She sometimes had to fend for herself at a tender age.

“My step-mother was very cruel to us. I was in nursery school and our last born was nine months old. We struggled to make ends meet because my father remarried and we could not get basic items,” recounted Ms Katee who is now the assistant chief of Mwambui Sub-Location in Mwingi. She lost hope after the burials of her maternal grandparents.

“I religiously attended burials hoping that she would appear. I eventually lost hope of ever finding her after my grandmother (Wanza’s mother) died and she did not attend the burial. In my heart, I had the conviction that she had died. I kept asking my church to dedicate a prayer so that I could have a revelation if my mother was dead or alive,” said Ms Mwikali.

The family kept pressing her former husband to reveal Wanza’s location but he had no clue. At one point, the family reported the husband to the police, suspecting he may have killed her and disposed of the body. It was a big relief when her sons arrived from Meru and announced that she was indeed alive.

During the weekend event, Wanza appeared relieved, as if she had finally put down a heavy load. But she remained pensive and would not reveal what made her take the extreme action of leaving behind her children.

The big revelation

Kenyan Woman Reveals Why She Left Her Kids And Fled 45 Years Ago

Monica Katee (left) and her sister Mwikali Katee are covered with lesos during the family reunion on August 11, 2019. PHOTO | DAILY NATION KENYA

Pastor Kiriinya said their mother fled the marriage after clan elders forced her husband to inherit his brother’s widow. Wanza was a strong christian and polygamy was a sin. Her resistance saw her subjected to constant insults and beatings. There was also speculation she may have been bewitched.

Early one morning, after feeding her three children, she took her donkeys pretending she was going to fetch water. She abandoned the donkeys and fled on foot towards Mulika. There she eventually met Mr Kirima whom she married.

During the emotional get-together, the families promised to strengthen their bond and forget the past.

“I had wounds in my heart because my father had died and my mother was at an advanced age. I am glad that eventually we have known the truth about her roots. It is not good for parents to keep such sensitive matters secret,” said Pastor Kiriinya.

“I am happy that this has happened. I want this to be written in my eulogy that I went to Ukambani to trace where my mother came from,” he concluded.

Domestic violence is still a challenge in the continent of Africa. Understanding how to get help and support will go a long way.

 

Resource: Daily Nation

Also read: Woman Is Stabbed To Death By Boyfriend Days Before Release Of Book On Domestic Violence

Written by

AyeeSha