‘Help,’ pleads family of missing Malawi woman Taona Kankondo

Taona Kankondo 29, daughter of a well known Malawian author and lecturer, Dede Kankondo, has been missing since last month, January, three years after she and her mother came back from the United States of America where they were living with her father who had died a few months earlier of brain tumor.

Taona Kankondo missing

Taona Kankondo missing

Family spokesperson, Peter Mandala, said in an interview that Taona became mentally disturbed a few weeks ago and ran away from home in Blantyre and has since never come back home.

“Taona, first born of Dede Kankondo and my sister, Mrs Kankondo, became depressed because of the death of her father and their consequent coming back to Malawi which led to her mental disturbance. She ran away from home in Blantyre but we have been told by some of her friends that they have seen her here in Lilongwe where her mother lives,” explained Mandala.

He disclosed that Taona was first perceived to have developed mental disturbance a few days after she began attending prayers at Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“She talked of seeing  ‘things”’ and preached to people that they are sinners and must repent. She even went to police headquarters in Lilongwe and told the policemen that they are sinners and have to repent. The law enforcers apprehended her for breach of peace but released her immediately when I told them that she was a little brain disturbed,” Mandala sorrowfully laments about his niece.

He went further explaining that she refused to take medication prescribed by St Johns of God Mental Hospital at Likuni, and burnt all her clothes saying they were bad; she also refused to sleep on bed but on the floor.

The Kankondos had been living happily even before they went to the United States of America; Dede Kankondo worked as a lecturer in languages at Bunda College of Agriculture at the same time pursuing his writing career. His wife was a secondary school teacher and was teaching at Mitundu Secondary School before they left for the USA.

A young beautiful couple, with a bright future, left for the USA in 1995 when Dede Kankondo was given a scholarship to study for his doctorate degree at Michigan State University.

He developed a brain tumor and passed away right there in the USA.

Mandala, said that Taona, who went to the USA while a small girl, grew up there where she did her education, and had two first degrees and was studying International Relations at the same Michigan State University that would see her become a corporate lawyer.

He said the family believes that she never recovered from the shock of the death of her father coupled with the sudden cut of high life of USA when her father died and found it difficult to get used to life in Malawi and she ended up getting mental disturbance.

Dede Kankondo, a prolific writer, authored many plays, short stories and novels. Novels include For The Living, Children of The Lake, and The Truth Will Out. Plays include The Vacant Seat, Mission of The Hyenas, and Its Time for Everything.

Mandala said the family is sending a desperate call to the public to assist them by informing the family if they spot Taona. He said Taona speaks fluent American English, understands Chichewa, she is dark, average height and slim.

Peter Mandala works at the Department of Information in Lilongwe and can be contacted on 0999955203..

A police notice issued by the Office of the Commissioner of Police in the Southern Region Headquarters in Blantyre on January 23, says they are informing the general public of the missing of Taona Kankondo, 29, who hails from Zowo Village, T/A Chikulamayembe, Rumphi District .

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77 thoughts on “‘Help,’ pleads family of missing Malawi woman Taona Kankondo”

  1. N.W says:

    God is mighty even in times like this. We have men of God here in Malawi, approach them for prayers and with faith all things are possible.

    My prayer is that she will be found and healed in Jesus name.

  2. musisipala says:

    Very sad indeed. My sister Wongani Kipandula missed in similar way last week aged 19 in LL. We pray to God for help

  3. Victor Ntaukira says:

    This is very sad, two first degrees, a promising lawyer just thrown into the waters like this? This is so bad.

  4. Tiffany says:

    I know how you feel, my brother Charles Gulumba went missing last year June, he had mental problems as well but we are still trusting God to heal him and bring him home. Stay strong for her sake.

  5. John M says:

    So sorry. God will provide!!!!!

  6. patrick Chikapaza says:

    Very Sorry,God will guide

  7. Wampwesa says:

    God have mercy

  8. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    Jahovahs witness!! Jahovahs witness??? Jahovahs Witness!!? Witnesses of Jahovah!?


  10. Stella says:

    I hope she will be found unharmed…..Her Family must be very traumatized….Am deeply touched Lisungu am so sorry

  11. Samuel says:

    This is a psychological trauma which has happened to Taona. Its not about ufiti no not at all. She is psychologically affected. God will assist in her recovery.

  12. kambwe says:

    Pali mzimai pa pa Nandos …paka ground kaja…wowoneka kuti mutu wake sukugwila….ndangodutsamo ine…

  13. zombaman says:

    Lets pray for this young lady

  14. galu wa galu says:

    Ku Rumphi nyanga heavy.

  15. CHITIPA BOYS says:

    We are with you in prayers….

  16. Chendele says:

    concur with Kuwira Chirambo. this should be a lesson to parents who dont go give a precious opportunity to there kinds to experience village life and grow up accepting that it exist and realise that one day thing mays change. let children know both sides of life experience is a good teacher. I salute my parents for giving me that opportunity now am a general fitter and hope to do the same to my kinds.

    learn a leson please. Taona issue is what is known as culture shock.

  17. maxwell Nsani says:

    With her papers( two degrees), at her age (29), considering how long she had stayed in the USA(20 years), surely she could have found employment there and earned a very good living and avoid all this psychological trauma brought about by coming to Bonya land. what really happened? Anzathu ambone, mwamutani mwana? bwinotu bwino!

  18. Southner says:

    Sorry my dear but remember they say home is best east or west.

  19. Anaphiri says:

    Mr Mandala,
    This girl is very sick and immediately needs to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. She is very depressed and needs close observations. i am sure she is out there and once found take her straight for admission. I highly recomend St. John of God Mzuzu. They will do a good job. She also needs alot of support from the family as that is key to her recovery. May God touch her . All will be well.

  20. Malindima says:

    Death has nothing to do with the country we live in whether US,UK or Malawi. Loosing a very close family member like a father, mother , child sister and brother etc comes with different grief experiences. This knocks hard on some and it is very critical for the affected members to undergo psychological assistance. I lost two children tragically in a car accident and this left my wife and grand daughter seriously injured and we are all never the same again.My prayers to this young lady for God to make her strong and restore her confidence and to mourn with faith, hope and love.
    God is wonderful holds our hands in times like these. All we need is let comments be prayers.

  21. hardcoreman says:

    I pray she is found, otherwise if an not mistaken I saw her three weeks ago in Lilongwe at old town National bank, she entered the bank amawoneka osamba ndithu an all over sadden she started shouting.

  22. nyasa boy says:

    Find out from both families Malawi people are dangerous on muthi don’t sleep

  23. Njolinjo says:

    Very sad story. Will assist as far as we can in trying to locate our dear sister.

  24. Sorry says:

    I think the story is not very clear. Dede should indeed rest in peace but the story is misleading as if he has just passed away few months ago.

    Just for information’s sake, the late Dede, father to Taona died more than 8 years ago or earlier. So this issue should be something else not an immediate aftermath to the loss of a dear dad. Or else its a persistent traumatic stress to which she has not come in terms with. Sorry to the Mandalaz and Kamkondoz.

    There is however a tip above about the Gulliver Bottole store mechanic in whose company she was… worthy followup!


    This is a wake up call that when you are overseas you should not forget that one day you will be back home Malawi by different means. They say home is sweet. Enanu mukakhala m’Blantyre kapena Lilongwe mumaiwala kupita kwanu ndi ana anu azikaphunzira kunyera zimbuzi zokumba. Si izi mpaka kupenga misala chifukwa chobwerera kwao, ku Malawi.

  26. Harrison makoza says:

    So bad!

  27. Ananthewa says:

    Nthawi zina timapangitsa ndife makolo kuti ana athu adzazuzike patsogolo, tingakhale ochita bwino bwanji, koma tisamaiwale kumudzi, komanso kuwaphunzitsa ana athu zinthu zina za chimalawi. Mukatero athu azikula akudziwa chikhalidwe. Makolo phuzitsani ana anu kuti azidziwa achibale awo, osangoti ndine wochita palibe cifukwa copitira kumudzi. Taona wakhala ku USA kwa 20 yrs osadziwa m’bale wina aliyense ngakhale kubwera kumalawi kuno ku holiday, all over sudden apezeke aku bwira fumbi la kumalawi, kodi sangapenge misala? Makolo pliz ana athu tiyeni tiwalere bwino.

  28. pastor says:

    Mercies of the Lord be with her where ever she is……she will come back in Jesus name

  29. zayakunkhongo says:

    ndikumubisa kunyumba kwanga on voluntary basis.. sindingamupange release coz tili ‘mudziko lathulathu’

  30. Nzeru zanga says:

    Sometimes we need to have empathy when commenting on some of these issues. rather dont comment at all if you cant say anything helpful.

  31. hoitty says:

    This is sad. May she fibd her way home and recover in Jesus Name

  32. big mac says:

    inenso ndinakulila ku england ndinabwerako koma sindinapenge bwa? za ziii. i suspect drugs

    1. ujeni says:

      Inu a Big Mac, what where you doing in England and where exactly where you living ? Living in poor Peckham mixing with Somalians and Nigeria and smoking chamba doing no decenible job cannot be compared to High class life of a Phd holder in US of A

  33. maxwell says:

    1st kwanukwanu mthengo mudalaka njoka. Hw cn she 4get Malawian style, 4 christ sake w r living de same country dey left yrs ago she cnt b mentally disturbed just bcoz she`s back in Africa kkkkk

    1. kadamanja says:

      Read the story again and again may be you will understand. she has lost her Dad, it might have affected her pliz.

  34. DR .HABYA LIMANA says:

    Wapita ku chibwezi ameneyu abwerako nanga kuzijudulakwake kumeneku , shaa mwinaso ali kulumu kwa kachere ,

  35. WINB says:

    so sad….if found pliz take her to the mental hospto for treatment….dats post traumatic stress

  36. manyasa says:

    she is Married, dont worry

  37. Wezi Gondwe says:

    too sad

  38. Sosten Gwengwe says:

    Iye amaona ngati ku Malawi kuno ife timakhalirako kufuna eti? Timakhala chifukwa tilibe kolowera. RIP Dede.

  39. God's Love says:

    Dear Family,

    I am very sorry for you missing relative and will do my best to keep an eye out for her in Lilongwe…. you will find her. My family member had a similar experience when moving back to Malawi . St Johns in north diagnosed her with a mental disorder. She has always had it but the shock of comming back to Malawi just triggered the trauma. With your love , good medication and support she will lead a normal and productive life , God bless you for loving your family member so much.

  40. Kwazulu says:

    God have mercy on this family

  41. upile says:

    sad development

  42. sapitwa says:

    She grew up in USA why bring her to poor mlw?

  43. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    Dede Kamkondo was my good friend and before he went to USA. Sad to here that.
    Looking at the picture, I think I saw her at Gulliver 2 months ago. She was with
    a mechanic, owner of garage at Gulliver bottle stores. We did not know she was
    late Dede’s daughter. She did not disclose till we left for ours places in the evening.

    Please check with the Gulliver garage owner, she was with him. She indeed spoke fluent
    American English, dark, with a scar on her face and another on her hand, average height
    not very slim.
    Dede’s daughter is my daughter and i pray to God almighty that she be well and found.
    On that day she was telling people that she had come for hotel interviews at the new
    hotel constructed by late Bingu, City Centre. she reported that she was previously
    working at a hotel in Blantyre, something we doubted.

    She knows Kazamira and Chimphamba families. Now it rings a bell, that her father
    was an academician, Dede!! She looked intelligent but in a bit of confusion.

    I will be happy to hear she is reunited with the mother.

  44. machendy says:

    inenso ndinakulila ku america konko koma sindinapenge bwa? za ziiii

  45. pepe says:

    Please come back home Taona!!

  46. proudmalawiancitizen says:

    Sad…….wishing the family all the best to trace her

  47. Taona was not a member of Jehovahs Witness. I strongly know that she was not a member Jehovahs witness. Amboni timakhulupilila kuti akufa adzuka ndipo sitichita kulila mpaka kupenga nako. Taona akanakhala wamboni poyambapo sakanadzidzimuka chifukwa tonse tikudziwa kuti tidzafa ndipo nsembe ya yesu yotiombola kumachimo idzatheketsa kuti tidzauke.

  48. Down to Earth says:

    I feel sorry for this Family and I can’t imagine what they are going through. I know I can’t help much but my thought and prayers are with you.

  49. Wachimalawi says:

    This is sad, poor woman. Hope she is found and gets better.

  50. Mr Mandala Please know the reason of Taona missing that she was shocked by the death of her Dad. You should also know that she is mentaly ill. Jehovas witness sleeps on bed if they have money to sleep on bed, Jehovahs witness appriciates the work Malawi Police Do. You have to also that its only Jehovah God himself who Judge people not the members of Jehovahs witness. Before the death of her father i strongly beleave that Taona was a member of Jehovahs witness. Jehovahs witness strongly believe that death is just like a sleep and one day Jehovah will resurect all people who died.Try to visit a funeral ceremony of Jehovahs witness and see how comfortble the mouners are. They dont cry as if their beloved relation will not resurect. If Taona had the whole understanding of this doctrines she could stay with full calm that one day she will see again her Dad. PLEASE DONT STICK JEHOVAHS WITNESS WITH UNFOUNDED STORIES. ASK THEIR WHAT THEY BELIEVE FIRST BEFORE CONCLUDING SENSTIVE ISSUES LIKE THESE. LOG ON http://www.jw.org. You will be suprised that any question will be answered. This website is also in chichewa http://www.jw.org/ny. If you have more questions please visit any member of Jehovahs Witness and he or she will happly answer you with bible reference the whole discussion.

  51. Malawiana says:

    Sad story. If people can become mentally disturbed just by leaving USA and coming back to Malawi then there is something seriously wrong with this ever pathetic country disguised as the Warm Heart of Africa.

  52. ujeni says:

    Growing up in better developed country and all over a sudden you find yourself in stuck in Malawi, regarded as the poorest country, where living standards are so prehistory, you can get confused mentality as you never envisaged that you will one day live in such a poverty stricken country.

  53. Big brain says:

    A 29 year old lady why did she came back she would have remained there in USA put a picture Pls ena amukwatila ameneyu

  54. Very sad. May the almighty God, Please, intervene.

  55. Mwananyasa says:

    Ambuye atithandize. may this be resolved quickly with the intervention of the Almighty. We keep the family in prayers.

  56. opportunist says:

    Sad news

  57. Kadzanja says:

    I am realy touched. My wife went through the same experience when we had lost our only daughter. She went up to Zomba Mental Hospital.

    I am with the family in prayers. I know, the whole family is in pains.

    May God take you through until the situation is normalised.

  58. Wawa Nyoni says:

    Churches are brainwashing innocent and unsuspecting victims. Pastors asking them yo give full salary to church yet they (pastors) live an opulent life. I wish to ask government to regulate fanaticism and fundamentalism in Malawi. No wonder aKamuzu chased some of these funny religions.

  59. my right to speak! says:


  60. Murray says:

    May the Good Lord favor us and let the lady come back without being harmed.

    God is not a failure.

  61. Bonzo says:

    Achibale mukuziwapo kanthu

  62. aunt so says:

    Very sad story,mayGod guide the family.

  63. Abk says:

    mwanena kuti wadwala atayamba kupemphera ndi mboni za yehova? mboni za yehova zayamba kukhala masatanic? kuchipatala anakuuzani chani zachiyambi chamatendawa? nokha mukuyankhula kuti wapenga potsatira imfa ya bambo ake imene yapangitsa kuti abwerere kumudzi, komanso moyo waku malawi wamavutowu akulephera kuukwanitsa. ameneyotu misalayo anachita kubwera nayo, anayambira ku america komweko. mmene akayamba kupemphera ali wodwala kale. gwero lamisala yake sikupemphera ayi komano imfa yabambo ake ndi umphawi wapamalawi osati kupemphera.

  64. chims says:

    it’s sad but we pray that she is found and be looked after so that she recovers. on the other hand, let us teach our children the realities of life and the real eventuality of death which all of us will face though painful to the bereaved. there is always hope if we believe in God and let’s not be entangled in the wealth of this world rest we get mentally disturb.

  65. Bololo Wachitumbuka says:

    Sory poti za chitika koma kupenga chifukwa cha umphawi waku malawi? Ee i which to see america to differenciate with my land malawi. Koma guyz anthu akusangalala kupenga chifukwa ali ku malawi?

  66. zingati zanu says:

    Very sad

  67. kasichi says:

    walozedwa ameneyo seriously,pamalawi sipochezela ufiti wafika povuta kuposa nuclear bomb

  68. Andy says:

    Very bad…. Bt I miss his father he was a talented writer

  69. proust says:

    Pepani. let’s hope apezeka. culture shock can really screw u. Up. But have u also looked at the possibility of getting the girl an mri?

  70. nuji says:

    Sad! koma tikupempha abale kuti ayesetse kumuyangana day in day out chifukwa masiku ano kunawopsya especially the rapers. We are with u in prayers.

  71. Fathara says:


  72. mmihavani says:

    We always advise people to please invest a little something so that when you suddenly die your people should find something as a solace. Do not lead high lives while you save nothing.

  73. ALex says:

    Pepan Kwambila this i News.tipemphe ambuye amuchize ndikumupasa mphavu zokhala pakhomo.

  74. Rodriguas Latata says:

    Dede Kankodo please not Kankondo. Sheee!

  75. gogoda says:

    Very sad indeed

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