Mother cries for help to find missing son three years later

STILL MISSING … Right: Spencer Nakale pictured at the age of three. Left: An artist impression of Nakale at seven.
…Police call on anyone with information to come forward

Three days ago, Julia Ndafyaalako, the mother of Spencer Mandela Nakale, who went missing at Lüderitz on 28 December 2020, once again reached out on social media to plead for help to find her son.

She asked if anyone could assist her to create a sketch of what her missing son would look like at the age of seven.

She also implored the nation to help her find her son, who went missing at the age of three years and 10 months old.

“Spencer Mandela Nakale is still missing, help us bring him back home,” she wrote.

The post received many reactions from the public, who shared it in support and solidarity.

“Spencer was going to start school this year,” said Ndafyaalako (31).

National police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi told The Namibian on Tuesday there are still no new developments on Spencer’s disappearance.

Kauna Shikwambi

Shikwambi called on anyone with any information that could lead to finding him to inform the police.

Ndafyaalako said during the festive season three years ago her life turned to bitterness and she has been living with heartache and pain ever since.

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

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

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

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 said when Spencer disappeared, he hoped they would find him that same day, however, as the day turned into night, he realised nobody had seen his son.

Nakale has also posted videos and pictures of his son on social media countless times.

He believes Spencer has been kidnapped and will not give up looking for him, he said.

The police search for Spencer moved from 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.

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 said 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 said.

Windhoek social work specialist Lovisa Nghipandulwa said Ndafyaalako must be going through a very difficult time.

“The reality of not knowing where her child is and in what state the child is, is not easy for any parent.”

All the efforts she continues to make are an act of keeping hope alive, therefore her acts should not be frowned upon.

Her yearning to keep searching for her child is valid, Nghipandulwa said.

“The pain experienced when a child is missing can feel like any other loss, the only difference is that it can be difficult for such a parent to find closure since the child needs to found, whether alive or not.

“There is nothing wrong with what she is doing, those willing and able to assist her should do so because a searching process can be emotionally draining and requires a lot of resources. Be it time, finances, reaching out to relevant authorities or reviving the investigation,” said Nghipandulwa.

She said parents in this situation should not get discouraged and should continue until they find closure.

The state of not knowing can be devastating, some days a person is able to cope, while on other days they can fall into despair, she said.

Nghipandulwa further advises parents to seek help from support networks, pastors, family or professionals to keep them going when times get hard.

Windhoek-based clinical psychologist Shaun Whittaker said there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love and her reaching out on social media means still has hope that her child is alive.

“It makes it impossible to find closure with so many questions, and if he is no more, giving him a dignified funeral would be on the mind.”

In 2021, businessman Tim Ekandjo partnered with the Namibian Police and the //Kharas governor’s office to offer 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.

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.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News