FEEL GOOD | Siblings reunite over Christmas after more than 20 years apart

2020-01-03 06:00

A brother and sister who were separated as children more than 20 years ago, finally met face to face again over Christmas - and they swore that they would not wait so long for their next reunion.

Thandokazi Mbanjwa, 34, and Siseko Tapile, 26, were all smiles when they reunited at a bus station in East London on December 22.

In a video clip, Mbanjwa can be seen walking to a bench to meet Tapile. They embrace, hold hands, catch up and hug again before making their way to Mbanjwa's home.

The siblings told News24 this week that over the years, they often thought about each other and where they ended up.

Mbanjwa said they lived with their mother and her stepfather in East London until the relationship ended in 1996.

A young Tapile then moved to Cape Town with his father and lost contact with Mbanjwa. Their mother died in 1999.

"I started searching for him for a while [about four years ago] and couldn't find him on Facebook so I added everyone who has the same last name as him," Mbanjwa said.

"I inboxed them all the info that I have as I knew his dad's name and last name. One day, one of them answered and said I know his dad."

Mbanjwa eventually made contact with Tapile's father and then Tapile.

"Every time we would make plans to meet, something would come up," she said.

"There was always an obstacle. This year, we decided nothing is stopping us."

Tapile said he felt a bit shy when he stepped off the bus and waited on a bench for his sister to recognise him and pick him up.

"Because we had been chatting over the phone, I know her already so it wasn't that hard for me to take it," he said. 

Mbanjwa said the whole day felt unreal.

"My emotions were all over. The funny part was that I only cried later on. When I looked at him, I thought: 'You are really here.' I was laughing and too excited to even cry at the time."

Tapile has spent quality time with his nieces and plans to return home next week.

The siblings have committed to meeting every December.

Read more on:    east london  |  good news  |  feel good
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