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A daughter's long search for her father bears unexpected outcome

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Anne Chacha, 34-year-old mother of three  from Utawala, Nairobi has been looking for her father for more than 16 years.

Photo credit: Pool

In 2008 when she was in form two, Ms Anne Chacha,34, embarked on a journey to look for her father, a man she hardly knew.

Her decision was motivated by alleged ill-treatment by her stepfather, whom she publicly rejected.

According to the mother of three, due to domestic issues, her mother Lucia Wankuru had left her matrimonial home in Kuria, Migori County, in the early 1980’s and set out to Nairobi to start a new life. She settled in Kibra.

“I have six older siblings. At the time my mother left her matrimonial home, I hadn’t been born yet, so she left with my sister who was the youngest, and left behind the other older siblings in Kuria. She started a new life in Kibra, Nairobi and some years later I was born to another man,” said Ms Chacha who lives in Utawala, Nairobi.

When she grew up, Ms Chacha's mother informed her that her father hailed from Baringo County and that he worked at the Nairobi club at the time.

Anne Chacha with her step brother James Amdany when they met in Nairobi on March 2.

Photo credit: Florah Koech| NMG

“I was born and raised in Kibra. I remember one day, when I was in lower primary school my mother told me that my father comes from Baringo County. He sometimes visited us but they later parted ways with my mother after he left Nairobi. The last I saw him was when I was seven.”

“Despite the challenges of raising me singlehandedly, all went well until I joined a secondary school in Kuria. I was in a boarding school but during the half term break, I used to spend time at my step brothers’ home because I could not travel all the way to Nairobi…. that is where my troubles started,” she narrated.

She remembers one time when she was very sick and her stepfather passed by.

“I was in form two at the time and I was on my half-term break. As usual, I spent time at my stepbrother's home to cut down on the costs of travelling to Nairobi where we lived with my mother.

I was sick at the time and had convulsions. On spotting my stepfather passing by, a neighbour called him to come and check on my condition and he retorted that I wasn’t his child. His response hit me hard. I felt rejected and I vowed to trace my biological father,” said Ms Chacha.

In August 2008, schools closed and she went back to Nairobi. She informed her mother that she wanted to go and look for her father in Baringo.

“We had relocated from Kibra and my mother sent me to go and look for my father’s best friend, a Cosmas Cheruiyot, whom they lived together in Kibra in the 1980s, indicating that he knew his name and the village where my father came from. I found him and he gave me the details and that he came from Kabartonjo in Baringo North,” she explained.

“He told me that my father was David Amdany and he instructed me to go to Kabartonjo town and ask for him, claiming that he was a renowned person and I would be directed to his village,”

Through assistance from a friend and a security officer who worked in Marigat, Baringo South, Ms Chacha embarked on a mission to trace her roots.

“I spent a week with the friend who worked in Marigat town but I got tired and the mission to proceed to Kabartonjo where I was directed to aborted,” she said.

A year later, (2009) Ms Chacha's mother passed on and she halted the mission and completed her secondary school education. Her elder sister took on the responsibility of taking care of her.

Last year, she saw a lady on TikTok who had posted something and she claimed to come from her father’s hometown- Kabartonjo.

She commented on the post, indicating that she was looking for her father whom she had scanty information about and she was requesting help to trace him.

She didn’t respond but a man who saw the comment replied to her and they exchanged their contacts and he offered to help her.

“This year, the man called and told me that he had shared the information with a certain teacher from the area who was vocal on social media so that he could post the same on his Facebook page. That was a turning point for me, I must say. It is through the post he made that locals from the region traced my father’s relatives,” noted Ms Chacha.

Katebes Kibet, the teacher, said he was contacted by a friend on February 18 that there was a woman who had shared some information on TikTok, and seemed to have been trying to trace her father without success.

“The friend knew I was vocal on Facebook and requested that I share the information to assist the woman in distress to trace her father. I spoke with Chacha and she gave me the details. Some few hours after I made the post, several people came to my inbox who used to work at the Nairobi club in the 1980s,” said Mr Kibet.

Through locals, they traced Ms Chacha’s father to Kapcheserem in Bartolimo village in Baringo North but they had to follow up and know the exact details.

James Amdany, whose father also worked at the Nairobi club and lived in Kibra called the tutor and informed him that the woman may be his half-sister.

Missing father

Anne Chacha (in red trousers) with her stepbrother James Amdany and his family when they met in Nairobi on March 2.

Photo credit: Florah Koech| NMG

“He told me that they used to visit his father who was staying in Kibra when he was working at the Nairobi club during the December holidays and he remembers a rumour of their father having sired a child out of wedlock, information that was also corroborated by his mother.

I gave him Chacha’s contact so that he could get more information from her. They met in Nairobi the following day,” said Mr Kibet.

On Saturday, the duo went looking for Mr Cheruiyot, who was working with Amdany at the club and confirmed that Ms Chacha was James’ half-sister.

Unfortunately, for Ms Chacha her father had died back in 2019.

“When I saw the post, I contacted the teacher who posted it because the details matched that of my late father who worked at the Nairobi club.

We followed up on the matter and even went to meet my father’s friend who lived with him in Kibra and confirmed that Chacha was my sister. My father even used to pay for her schooling at the time before he went to the village,” said Mr Amdany.

“The old man even took us to where Chacha’s mother was living before she died and we met their neighbours who identified her. We are happy that we have finally met with our sister and we are organising a family reunion at our rural home. Although she traced her roots after the passing of our father, we are happy that she finally met her relatives,” he said.

Ms Chacha told Nation.Africa that she was hopeful that she would find her father alive and the revelation that he died in 2019 broke her heart.

“I was very optimistic that my father was still alive. It was very painful to learn that after looking for him for more than 16 years my father had died five years earlier of illness.

I just wanted to see him even for one more time because I still had a little memory of him,” said Ms Chacha amid sobs.

“All along, I was looking for him at least to have a father figure in my life and also to trace my roots, having faced rejection in life. Though I found out that he is dead, I am happy at least I traced my brother and I now know my people,” she added.

The mother of three who lives in Utawala, Nairobi, is now looking forward to a family reunion at her father’s Baringo home.