MELINDA Breitkopf, a 20-year-old German woman who launched a search for her late father’s family in South Africa through Facebook, has finally connected with her long-lost family!
Banele Kubeka the uncle Melinda didn’t even know existed got in touch with her through Facebook, with details confirming that he was the younger brother of Alpheus Mpikeleli Kubeka, who died 15 years ago in Germany.
Alpheus fled apartheid South Africa in 1977 and ended up in Germany where he had six children, including Melinda who caused a social media frenzy with her heartrending plea on Facebook for people to help her find the Kubeka family in South Africa.
All Melinda knew was that her father’s parents were called Miriam and Simon.
“Hello to all the people out there. I need your help. My name is Melinda and I’m 20 years old. I live in Germany. I’m the girl in the second picture. On the first picture, you can see my father, Alpheus Mpikeleli Kubeka, who died 15 years ago,” Melinda wrote on Facebook.
When Banele came across Melinda’s story on social media he sent her a picture of the passport that Mpikeleli left at home when he fled the country.
On Monday‚ Melinda updated her supporters on Facebook saying that she can’t express how happy and thankful she is to finally get to know her family.
“A few days ago I finally found my dad’s brother‚ my Uncle Banele Kubeka. Words can’t describe the feeling that I had when I got the first call from him,” she wrote on the Facebook page. “A big thanks to everyone who thought of me‚ who shared my post and who had hope together with me. Without you guys I wouldn’t be at the point where I am right now.”
In an interview with The New Age, Melinda said when she was young, her biggest wish was to get to know her South African side of the family.
“I only know my German side and there are not many of them, many of them also died and with the others we aren’t really connected,” she said. “I wanted to tell my South African grandma and grandpa and my uncles what happened to their son and brother, and I wanted to let them know that we exist.”
Furthermore, she said: “My father went a long way and experienced so much. So, I always wanted to do something but I was too young. I didn’t know how to do it. Now, I am 20 years old and I can’t wait no longer to finally find them. That’s why I decided to post this on Facebook a few days ago. I wrote the text spontaneously.”
The response was overwhelming. Melinda received a positive feedback from South Africans who shared the post and tagged people who they thought could assist her.
Melinda was five when her father died. She said: “He didn’t tell us a lot of information because his plan was to go back to South Africa when things got better.”
Before Melinda was connected to her uncle Banele she wrote: “It is so hard for me to live with half of my heart because the other half is somewhere out there in South Africa.”
Banele said he is now trying to raise funds to travel to Germany to meet his six nephews and nieces for the first time.