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.
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 .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :