‘I think about all the things he could be doing now’

HAPPY MEMORIES … Julia Ndafyaalako and her son, Spencer Mandela Nakale, who disappeared three years ago at Lüderitz during the festive season. Photo: Contributed

During the festive season three years ago, Julia Ndafyaalako’s life turned to bitterness. She has been living with heartache and pain ever since.

It was three days after Christmas in 2020 when her then three-year-old son, Spencer Mandela Nakale, vanished at Lüderitz.

Now, as the anniversary of Spencer’s disappearance approaches, Ndafyaalako (31) opens up.

“I feel like the worst mother on earth. I keep blaming myself, wondering: Where did I go wrong?” she says.

“What was I thinking to let my son go sleep at someone else’s place?” she asks.

Spencer slept over at his aunt Helena Bisof’s place just before his disappearance.

Bisof (29) says she does not understand how Spencer disappeared.

She says she left Spencer and his cousins in the care of her cousin (34) when she had to leave the house while they were sleeping.

“I am speechless and heartbroken … I slept next to the child, and the next thing – he disappeared,” she says.

Meanwhile, Ndafyaalako says she keeps thinking of all the things they would be doing if Spencer were with her.

“He was going to start school next year,” she says.

“I find it difficult to forgive myself for not protecting my little angel,” she says.

Ndafyaalako recalls her son being happy on the day he disappeared.

“He kept hugging and kissing me and his dad,” she says.

The last time she saw Spencer was when he went outside to play with other children where his father was working.

At around 17h00 his dad came back into the house, saying Spencer asked to go play with his cousins at Area 7.

“I did not even go outside to give him a hug or say goodbye,” Ndafyaalako says.

She says she has given up on the police.

“I have been pleading with them to give us a search warrant so we could follow a South African psychic’s advice. But they are quiet.

“All I am pleading for is for the public to assist us. Someone at Lüderitz must have seen something,” she says.


Ndafyaalako says she recently obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Namibia (Unam).

She also scooped four awards at the university, she says.

Ndafyaalako says she studied hard, because she was desperate to get a job to enable her to look for her son.

She is currently working at a psychiatric hospital.


Spencer’s father, Nelson Nakale (37), recalls his last happy moments with Spencer and Ndafyaalako at the beach on Christmas Day three years ago.

“We had so much fun together as a family, marking our first festive season together at the town”.

He says when Spencer disappeared he was initially not worried.

“I hoped we would find him that same day, considering the town is not big. As the day turned into night, I realised nobody had seen my boy.”

Nakale says he then opened a case at the police station and posted pictures of Spencer on social media.

Nakale believes Spencer has been kidnapped.

“I will not give up looking for my son,” he says.


The police search for Spencer moved to the rocky shoreline north of Lüderitz to Aeroplane Bay almost a week after his disappearance.

The police reported that the toddler was last seen wearing a red T-shirt, blue pants and sandals.

In 2021, Tim Ekandjo partnered with the Namibian Police and the
//Kharas governor’s office in offering a N$25 000 reward for information that would lead to finding Spencer.
The police in the same year offered a reward of N$50 000.

National police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi says the police continue to work tirelessly on this case.

No suspect has been arrested, and no remains has been found.

“There are no new leads in the matter,” she says.

Shikwambi is appealing to the public for information.

Anyone with information is requested to urgently contact Spencer’s parents, or detective warrant officer Kenahama at 081 317 6432, or the nearest police station.

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