HE finally came home like the proverbial lost son.
But his return was somewhat delayed – by 71 years.
On Sunday, when the royal Tshivhase family of Venda was finally reunited with Matsindise Tshivhase (90), he was almost the only one of his generation still alive!
Matsindise, like many young men back then, left his home village of Maungani in 1946 when World War II ended to seek employment in Joburg.
As the years passed and the family could not trace his whereabouts, they lost hope.
But a big break came this year when the old man appealed for help at a local radio station. They followed it up – and it paid off!
Matsindise had ended up in Bronkhortspruit in Tshwane, where he had another family.
After consultations between the families, Matsindise was reunited with his family at a huge welcoming ceremony in Vhufuli outside Thohoyandou, Limpopo.
Local traditional leaders, family members and other relatives gathered at Thavha Tshivhase’s house at Vhufuli for the reunion.
It was an emotional gathering for the family. The old man’s nephew, Thavhadziawa Tshivhase, said his father had done everything he could to locate his elder brother, but he passed on before he was found.
Matsindise said he worked for the railways and on farms and that life was good. However, “as age catches up with you, you start thinking constructively and that is when I started thinking of home. All I wished for was to come back as I did not want to die far away from my people.”