FOUR years ago, 25-year-old Emmanuel Chishimba Chileshe disappeared without trace from his home in Kitwe’s Mulenga Township.
His relatives searched for him every place they could but could not find him and that he had a history of mental illnesses got them even more worried.
After weeks of searches yielded nothing, the family concluded Emmanuel had died – they gave up looking for him.
Unknown to them, however was that while they searched for him Kitwe, Emmanuel had somehow reached Kabwe where he was picked and cared for by a stranger.
Although his cousin Emeldah Mwamba says Emmanuel went missing in 2016, a Kabwe resident, Kelvin Mutale picked him 2017.
Mutale of Shamabanse area in Kabwe explained that he discovered Chileshe sleeping in drainage outside Kabwe General Hospital in January 2017.
“At that time he was not speaking properly and he couldn’t remember a thing. Health workers told me that he was a patient there without relatives or address. I volunteered to keep him at my parent’s home after registering with police and social welfare,” Mutale narrated.
“Now recently he just woke up around 01:00 hours and told me that he was from Kitwe and was once a pupil at Mukuba Secondary School and that he lived in Mindolo and Riverside. That’s how I brought him to Kitwe to search for his relatives,” he explained.
After Radio Icengelo posted Emmanuel’s photo on its Facebook page, his relatives quickly recognized him and contacted the Kitwe based Catholic-run radio station.
“My daughter saw his picture on Radio Icengelo Facebook today and alerted me saying my brother has been found. I called my brother and my sister whom you are seeing here at Radio Icengelo,” Emmanuel’s sister, a Mrs Mwamba said as she identified her lost-but-found brother at the radio station.
“At the time Chileshe went missing in 2016 he was not mentally well. We searched everywhere and we even thought he had died; now we are happy to see him. He is our blood and we will take care of him,” Mrs Maamba said between sobs of joy and maybe relief.
Mrs Maamba was accompanied to the radio station by two of her and Emmanuel’s siblings along with her daughter,
As for the Mutale who took care of Emmanuel all this time, he could only say “I am relieved that we have found his family.”
#CAPTION: Emmanuel in black trousers with his relatives at Radio Icengelo – picture by Valentine Mukuka