A 32-year-old woman from Nkayi District in Matabeleland North recently met her father for the first time after a daily publication, The Chronicle, published an article titled “Missing fathers… Children relive the agony” to commemorate this year’s Father’s Day two weeks ago.
Happiness Sibanda finally found happiness last Saturday when she met her father, Doctor Khumalo, and discovered that she was his only child.
She said a day after The Chronicle published the article, a cousin who knew her father contacted her. Said Sibanda:
When that article was published, I received a call from someone called Lucky who turned out to be my cousin from my paternal side who lives in Pumula East.
He told me that he knew the whereabouts of my father and that he was in Tsholotsho and he agreed to accompany me to see him.
Sibanda said she travelled to Sipepa area in Tsholotsho on Saturday where for the first time, she met her father. She said:
He couldn’t even utter a word; all he could do was cry as we embraced each other.
Sadly, he is not in good health and I was told he has been like that since he returned from South Africa in 2010.
As a result, it became very difficult for me to ask him all those difficult questions.
All the bitterness, anger and frustration that I had with him is over.
I instantly felt his love and I also learned that I’m his only child.
Sibanda said she was told that her father left for South Africa in 1993 and, thereafter, lost all communication with her mother, Sharon Sibanda. The two had met in Bulawayo. Said Sibanda:
Although my paternal relatives knew about me, they had no way of reaching out to me. There were no communication channels.
So, the article that you published helped us a lot in connecting with my father’s relatives.
The weekend I spent in Tsholotsho was one of the best moments in my life.
I discovered that we are a big family and all of them were so excited to meet me.
So, I have resolved that this coming weekend (today) I will go back to see them and also that my children can finally meet their grandfather.