- James Mugweru migrated to the United States in search of greener pastures in 1973
- He studied medicine at the Royal College which is the current University of Nairobi and worked at King George Level Four Hospital, now known as KNH
- Mugweru, who lived in Utah, further gave indications that he would be returning to the US even after being away from Kenya for 60 years
A man has returned to Kenya from the US after being away for 60 years.
James Mugweru arrived in Mwariki, Nakuru county on Friday, 21 February and his family and friends could not hold back tears of joy as he greeted some of his siblings.
Briefly.co.za learnt that they last saw him when he was in his 40s during his second visit to the country in 1973, with his nephews and nieces unable to recognise him.
Having stayed in the US for 60 years, Mugweru could barely express himself in the Kikuyu language although he could remember a few words, The Standard reported.
“Who would have thought I would stay that long without ever returning, I am glad to be back. Reuniting with my brothers and sisters is very satisfying for my heart,” he said.
The octagenarian is said to have moved to the US in 1959 when he was 27 years old through the educational airlift programme organised by the late Tom Mboya and Senator John F Kennedy.
According to the 84-year-old, life in the US was not easy and lack of enough funds was the reason he stayed abroad without visiting home, adding that life became even harder after retirement.
“Life in the US is not a walk in the park though if you are smart, things will be easy for you. I had missed my motherland and to step here I feel comfortable," he said.
“Being in a foreign land is not a walk in the park. It requires focus, humility, and perseverance, especially in the first few years,” he added.
His first wife (now deceased) joined him in the US in 1971 but they later separated due to irreconcilable differences before he remarried his second wife, who passed away in 2017.
“My second wife passed on three years ago and my only son died five years ago. I am now left with two daughters. The last time I counted I had 15 grandchildren,” said Mugweru.
The grandpa, who lived in Utah, further gave indications that he would be returning to the US, saying that is where both he and his family have become accustomed to.
"I will spend a month in Kenya and go back to the US. I feel a bigger part of my life is there. However, I’m still pondering on my siblings’ insistence that I stay with them now,” he said .
He was traced by the Founder and CEO of Shiloh Afrique Foundation in Atlanta, Christine Muchene, to a facility for senior citizens following a request by his grandson, who lives in Kenya.
She then took him to the Kenyan American Community Church (KACC) headed by Bishop GG Gitahi where members had contributed money to purchase his flight ticket to Kenya.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!