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There was celebration in a Murang’a village after a man resurfaced 17 years after he went missing. Michael Kimani, 37, mysteriously disappeared in 2002 but he return home on Thursday.

The trained teacher said he quit his job at Ngutu Primary School for a better offer in Nairobi. He later moved to Mombasa where he did menial jobs for a living.

“I made many plans to return home but I was unable to raise fare. Life was difficult and I often struggled to even support myself,” Kimani said.

A tearful Kimani said he was able to return after a village mate from Tuthu in Kangema spotted him on the streets of Mombasa.

“She told me how my family had suffered searching for me and promised to help me reunite with them.”

Family members welcomed their prodigal son with song, dance and feast. He asked for forgiveness, saying he caused the family unnecessary pain and agony.

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“I’m ready to start afresh,” he said.

His father Ignatius Mushroom said his heart was always troubled by thoughts about his lost son.

“I can’t express my joy. I am now at peace,” an ecstatic Mushroom said.

He said he heard rumours that Kimani was engaged to a white woman in Mombasa but a search did not yield fruits.

Kimani’s cousin Sabina Wambui urged youths to find better ways of resolving their issues within the family instead of disappearing.

“Many youths choose to run away when they face challenges at home. They put their families through untold mental and psychological torture,” Wambui said.

Area chief Grace Nyambura said she had been actively pursuing Kimani’s disappearance. “I’m glad he’s back safe and sound,” Nyambura said.

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