Masabo Village, in Kisii County, has had somewhat of a revival in recent years. Strangely, the prodigal son Samuel Abuga, who had been presumed dead, has returned to his native Uganda. Abuga, now 93 years old, has returned to his native Nigeria after living abroad for the better part of the last half-century.
Abuga’s story is especially touching in this age where youth and speed are prized so highly. The importance of visiting one’s birthplace and learning one’s family history is not lost on us South Africans, no matter how much time has passed.
Fiftieth Year of Isolation
Samuel Abuga, still in his prime at age 40, departed Masabo Village in search of better economic opportunities. For fifty years, his loved ones looked for him, certain that he had been murdered in the Mau Mau insurrection, but he was only a specter, a distant memory.
A family member broke the news to Capital FM in an interview, saying that they had set aside some land for him. They confided, “We had a sense of hope that one day he will return.” We never lost faith.
A Staggering Reveal and a Grand Return
Unforeseen complications arose after Abuga’s loved ones learned that he was safe and sound in Makueni. Enock, his grandson, was immediately sent to go and get him. No doubts were present. A beautiful portrait of steadfastness and love emerged throughout the voyage home, which was replete with emotion and full of anticipation.
From what Enock has said, “My heart pounded as I approached him.” The emotional roller coaster ended when he finally acknowledged that he is my grandfather, at which point we both burst into tears. After that, we knew it was time to get back to the house.
What a wonderful way to be greeted upon one’s return! The lovely people of Kisii County organised a hero’s welcome. A heartwarming scene played out in front of everyone’s eyes: the elderly man was the centre of attention as his loved ones surrounded him.
A New Beginning Amid Reminiscences
To tell Abuga’s story in its entirety, it is necessary to start with his early years in Makueni. He was married three times, all of which ended in divorce. He returned to his hometown on his own, carrying with him a lifetime’s worth of experiences and tales that he had never shared.
The return of Abuga has not only reunited our family but also reminded us of the value of honouring our heritage and customs. This song reminds us of the African idea of Ubuntu, which can be loosely translated as “I am because we are.” Its message of hope, resilience, and the power of familial relationships reverberates across all of Africa.
A granddaughter’s reaction upon seeing her grandfather again was representative of many: “I am thrilled to see him breathing.” For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard tales about an uncle who grew up and left the area; only today did I get to see him. He has not yet died. He’s finally here.
Samuel Abuga’s tale has all the makings of a great film. It’s living proof of how powerful hope is and how compelling our roots are. Throughout Kisii County and the rest of South Africa, his legacy will endure in the hearts and minds of his fellow citizens for generations to come.
A potent reminder to look back every once in a while, appreciate our roots, and keep our doors and hearts open for those who may someday return to a world where we spend so much time focused forward.
About the Author:
Edmore Nkosi is a riveting South African journalist, specializing in entertainment and current affairs. With his unique ability to blend pop culture with real-world events, Edmore has carved a niche in providing captivating narratives that resonate with a diverse readership.