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Another UNTAG baby surfaces

Mon, 23 September 2013 03:38
by Confidence Musariri

Watching Big Brother Africa ‘The Chase’ winner Dillish Mathews reunite with her father, David Guyo, troubled Allans Metho Onyango Gawanab.
It has been Mathews’ wish to meet her father, he thought, would I ever see mine? He soliloquised, shooting his ambition down from the fact Mathews had to be on Big Brother to find her dad.
Born the same year as Mathews, albeit two months later, the soft-spoken Gawanab has more passion in his eyes than he does in his voice.
“A lot of things went through my mind when people were shouting at Mathews’ father on Facebook. Since Mathews won, I have suffered internally,” he says.
Five years ago, Gawanab walked through the entrance of Kenya House that accommodates the Kenyan High Commission wanting to know how he could find his father in Kenya.
“They told me to take proof that my father is in Kenya. I had nothing, so I went back home. Some years later, my grandmother called me. She was sick and about to die, she gave me a letter she said my father had written years ago. I cried when I read the letter. According to my grandmother, my father was part of the Untag and was a good man who loved my mother with all his heart. Although my mother would rather not talk about it, she seemed to be in love with him also,” he says.
Born in Grootfontein, next to Namibia’s biggest army base, Gawanab discovered from the letter his name and surname were those of his father’s.
The heart-break Julia Gawanas had suffered after her then army man returned to Kenya is yet to heal. Like Mathews’ mother who ‘exchanged a lot of letters for sometime before we lost track,’ Gawanab’s mother suffered the same fate.
But for a determined Gawanab who works as a driver for a local company, the quest to find his namesake has never died.
Somehow, he managed to get in touch with his father’s son in Kenya, now also in the army.
“His name is Otty; I traced him two months ago on Facebook after taking a keen interest to Mathews’ case. Otty thinks I am just a fraud and does not believe much of what I tell him. I even introduced him to my aunt (Diana) before she died but he still doesn’t believe my story. I am so close to knowing my father. I want to meet him.”
The Villager has discovered Allans Metho Onyango (Snr) has since retired from the Kenyan army and resides in some remote village around the Lake Victoria area in Kenya.
The Villager’s efforts to trace the former soldier have led to a phone number from which we have not been able to speak to anyone due to poor network, possibly from his end.
Says Metho Jnr who celebrates his birthday this November; “They all say he was a good man. I am desperate to meet him so that I can emulate his ways. I see Mathews’ father on TV and in photos. Whenever I watch him on TV crying, I cry too because I want to meet mine and hopefully experience the same thing.”
The Villager is in possession of an old copy of the letter from Mr Onyango to Gawanas written shortly after independence. In it he spoke about how he missed her and how he wished to return to see his son who had been named after him.
He wrote: “I remember how I asked my boss, Tony Ngeve, to allow ladies in the base so that those whose ladies are not pregnant may have the last chance to try their luck. Tony told me that it was too late if my lady was not pregnant by that time. But there is a word that better late than never, God gave us a healthy boy called Allans. Thanks to God.”
He goes on to talk about how he survived in Okahandja at the base where the two were madly in love - “At times, I used to lock you in the wardrobe when my bosses were after you.”
Judging from the letter, there are strong indications Guyo (Mathews’ father) and Metho Snr, who was in charge of the Officers’ Merss, knew each other.
He mixes humour and apologies in the three-paged letter, narrating how he brought her chicken until she hated white meat.
“Remember, Shalli’s house in the location when we first met sexually near those big stones in the bush? Life is like that. Remember when things were upside down? And the first day when we went in was the day when comrade Lubowski was being laid to rest,” the letter reads in part.
It also offers details of the couple’s love life, their Namibian and Kenyan friends, as well as the day Gawanab was conceived. In signing off, Metho Snr writes: “May God bless you, together with Allans, in all that you plan to do. God be with you till we meet again.”
Metho Jnr says: “One thing I know, for sure, is that Mathews’ eventual meeting with her father is far more important than the money she won.  I do not need money, I need my father.”