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Man Who Has Been mentally ill for 27 years recovers immediately after father’s burial

A man identified as Simon Kayira, 49, who suffered from mental illness for over 27 years, regained his sanity recently after the burial of his father at Chiberekete village in the area of senior chief Mwankhunikira in Rumphi district.

In an interview, his uncle who is also village head Wasambo said Simon’s condition turned worse in 1994.

“He started isolating himself, stopped taking his bath and stopped wearing clothes. He has suffered for a long time. This is like seeing the biblical Lazarus rising from the dead and we are all pleased,” he said.

Wasambo further said that his brother (Simon’s father) died on 13 May and was buried on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

During the burial, a naked Simon was also asked to lay a wreath on his father’s grave which he did with his sister.

Soon after the burial, his nephew asked him if he could put on some clothes and this time he accepted after running around naked for over 27 years.

He was later clothed and had his overgrown hair which he had been keeping for 27 years cut for the first time.

He later took his bath and has been taking his bath since that day.

On his part, Simon said he does not remember much from his past.

However, he is able to remember the names of his cousins, aunties, and friends he used to play with in his youth.

Group village headman Chiberekete said he was in awe to see Simon recover from his psychological disorder after suffering from the condition for 27 years of his life.

Simon is optimistic to support his aged mother and sister after fully reintegrating into the community.

Another villager, Tyson Mayuni, while collaborating the story, said the entire village was happy to see Simon putting on clothes again.

Thandiwe Mkandawire who is executive director for Mental Health Users and Carers Association said his reintegration into society will depend on the kind of support he gets from his community.

“There are so many things to be considered for one to reintegrate into a community such as peer support, psychosocial support.

“It also depends on what is in the community to allow such a person to reintegrate. For example, people’s attitudes and what community leaders are doing to have that person reintegrate into the community,” she said

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