James Mwaura left home to buy rice but disappeared 47 years ago, Facebook helped bring him back


James Mwaura left home to buy rice but disappeared 47 years ago, Facebook helped bring him ...
James Mwaura, in blue suit, is reunited with his family members in Molo after he went missing in 1974. PHOTO / COURTESY

By Sam Njuguna

Mark Zuckerberg has often said he initially created Facebook as a platform to allow Harvard University students connect with each other, and later to enable the world communicate digitally as well, just by the touch of a button.

But even Zuckerberg, the genius that he is, while coding in his dorm room, may quite possibly not have predicted the impact that his creation would years later have on the family of James Mwaura in their little home town in Molo, Nakuru County.

Mwaura, now a 70-year-old man, disappeared from home 47 years ago but has now found his way back, thanks to the social media giant that is Facebook.

Mwaura went missing when he was just 23 years old in 1974 after he was sent to the shop to buy rice for the family.

He reportedly lost his way in the process, only to find himself in Nairobi with no money and no kin to turn to as he found that his brothers who stayed in the city had also moved.

He then hitched a ride to Naro Moru in Nyeri County where he started a new life and later settled into marriage with a woman he met there.

Years later, like everybody else these days, he was scrolling through Facebook when he stumbled upon a seemingly familiar face.

He sent the person a message in his inbox and it turned out to be one of his nephews.

The two struck up a conversation and agreed to meet up on Wednesday, before the family reunion eventually happened on Thursday.

Mwaura, who arrived home in a blue suit, informed the family members that he is now happily married and blessed with three children and four grand children.

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