Man who vanished without trace 13 years ago returns home: He was staying on the streets in Cape Town


A CHIREDZI man was last week reunited with his family after 13 years.

The family thought he was either dead or in jail. He spent the last 13 years in South Africa.

Leonard Ndlovu didn’t advise his family about his movements when he crossed the border in search of greener pastures in 2009.

They ended up suspecting he could have died or was locked in prison.

He was assisted by Happiness “Happiegal” Moyo, who lives in Cape Town, to be reunited with his family.

The 33-year-old found Leonard roaming the streets of the Mother City begging for help.

She assisted him through her foundation, Good Hearted.

“I met Leonard begging at a ShopRite shop’s entrance and he looked so dirty before he asked me to buy him bread, since he was so hungry.

“After buying him the food to eat, I sat with him and asked him about how he ended up on the streets and he told me that he didn’t know where he could find his family.

“He said he last saw his family 13 years back, before he came to Cape Town.

“Prior to that, he said, he once stayed in Petersburg. He worked for two years in Cape Town before he lost his job.

“Ndlovu tried to find his family, but sadly he couldn’t and ended up staying on the streets for four years begging.”

She added:

“He built a home with cardboard boxes and plastics on the streets and, after a long chat with him, he gave me the names of his family, including his parents.

“I then took pictures and promised to help him locate his family.

“He also asked if I could help him go back home since he is from Chiredzi.

“I posted his pictures on Facebook, in groups, with the details he gave me about his family where a lot responded that they knew him and his family.

“I got a lot of calls from his family members claiming to be their brother.

“On July 3, I visited him back on the streets where I showed him the pictures of his family and he was so happy.

“He confirmed that he knew them and they were his family members.”

Happiegal said she took Leonard and dressed him up.

“I took Leonard to my house before cleaning him. I also made some arrangements with his family, who bought him a ticket to go to Johannesburg.

“I bought him new clothes and took him to the buses, he later went back to his family, after 13 years of no trace.

“They thought he was dead or in jail.”

Happiegal said she also does similar campaigns for girls and the vulnerable.

“I do campaigns like caring for girls and providing pads for them and every weekend or during school holidays, we do activities with kids just to keep them busy, where we play netball and soccer.

“I cook rice and chicken for the homeless then I go around the streets giving them food.”

— HMetro

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