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Man stranded in S. Sudan returns home after Facebook appeal



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A-32-year old man whose photos went viral after he suffered mental disorder while in South Sudan has finally arrived home in Kivwe, Embu County.

The photos of Augustine Mwaniki were taken by a Kenyan living in South Sudan who saw him in squalor and after interviewing him, realised he was Kenyan.

According to his brother, Peter Kariuki, Mr Mwaniki left home in 2012 shortly after the burial of his parents and briefly stayed in Mwea but then went missing, only to resurface on Facebook.

“We lost track of him after visiting Mwea and we had no idea where he was until we saw his photos of social media. When I saw the photos, I was very sad because of his situation. That is when I started looking for well-wishers [to help bring him home],” he recounted.

He said his brother appeared stressed and he was incomprehensible when he spoke and looked disoriented.

He said the family was overjoyed by the return of their last-born sibling and hoped he would recover and restart his life.

Ms Evangeline Karimi, who led the rescue mission, said she was in touch with one Mr James Nyaga, a Kenyan from Embu residing in South Sudan, and followed his travel from the country to Northern Uganda and finally to Kenya.

“The photos were taken by one Rebecca who shared them online. James Nyaga who goes by the name Mayang Mayang on Facebook helped trace his home. He also facilitated his travel to Kenya. I recognised Augustine since he is my neighbour,” she said.

He helped Mr Mwaniki travel up to Busia from where Ms Karimi and Mr Kariuki picked him up.

On arrival, Ms Karimi and other family members took Mr Mwaniki to the Embu Level Five hospital for a check-up.

“I found him in the farm and he looked withdrawn. He says he was working there but doesn’t say what he was doing,” said Ms Karimi.