The daddy of a 21-year-old Tanzanian, who has been lacking since Hamas militants attacked the kibbutz he was residing on in Israel, has instructed the BBC of his anguish, naming his son publicly for the primary time.
“The final time I spoke to Joshua was Thursday 5 October,” says his father Loitu Mollel. “I mentioned, ‘Be in your finest behaviour since you’re someplace new, and benefit from the internship you are there to do.'”
Two days later Joshua Mollel’s new dwelling – Kibbutz Nahal Oz – was attacked by Hamas.
He had left his household’s place in northern Tanzania simply the earlier month.
Boarding the airplane was a second of pleasure for Joshua.
Not solely was this his first time travelling overseas – it was additionally a giant step in the direction of making his ambitions a actuality.
“My son needs to make his fortune in agribusiness and change into considered one of Tanzania’s most profitable farmers,” his father says proudly.
He and his spouse hope Joshua’s research in Israel will finally enhance the modest incomes they make from educating and rising crops.
Being the eldest baby, Joshua’s youthful brother and sisters look as much as him as position mannequin – so it hurts that they haven’t spoken to him on the cellphone for weeks.
On 7 October dozens of residents have been massacred in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, and hostages taken over the border to Gaza which lies simply 800m away.
No one is aware of what grew to become of Joshua, and his household are sick with fear.
“We will not eat or sleep – once I go to the market individuals ask me why I am dropping a lot weight,” says his father.
“When the information got here that Israel had been attacked by Hamas, I attempted to seek out out if Israel had an embassy in Tanzania however I used to be instructed that they function from Kenya.
“So as a substitute I contacted the Tanzanian overseas ministry and I even contacted Tanzania’s ambassador in Tel Aviv.
“However I’ve nonetheless acquired no details about the place my baby is and in what situation.”
Neither Tanzania nor Israel have confirmed the identities of two Tanzanians college students who’re recognized to be lacking.
However the BBC has labored to determine who they’re, talking to their households to verify particulars about their lives.
We all know that Joshua Mollel is likely one of the two lacking college students, and we all know the identification of the opposite – however their mother and father have chosen to not title them publicly.
“We’re working in help of the Israel authorities to seek out out the place the 2 lacking college students are,” says Tanzania’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Alex Kallua. “We will not inform if they’re held hostage and even in any other case as a result of we’re on the lookout for the proper info.”
The BBC has additionally contacted Israel’s overseas ministry with a request for remark.
Some 350 Tanzanians reside in Israel, 70% of whom are college students largely pursuing agricultural-related research, based on Tanzanian officers.
Ambassador Kallua says 9 Tanzanians have returned to their dwelling nation safely inside the final week, and that his embassy workers are “eager to ensure that we’re in contact with the opposite Tanzanians [who are still] in Israel and ensuring all are secure”.
Joshua’s household says his internship at Nahal Oz’s dairy farm in Israel was organised by his school in central Tanzania, the Ministry of Agriculture Coaching Institute – Katrin. The school has not replied to the BBC’s request for remark.
“We don’t wish to stand and blame the authorities for the sluggish seek for my grandson, as a result of we perceive some elements of Israel have been attacked by Hamas,” Joshua’s grandfather, Ephata Nanyaro, says diplomatically.
However this doesn’t reduce the household’s ache.
“He was final seen on-line on [the messaging app] WhatsApp on 7 October at round 10:00 [07:00 GMT] within the morning,” remembers Joshua’s father.
“I am so confused… It’s actually tough. My little ladies ask me each morning and evening: ‘Dad, we wish to speak to our brother.’
“However I haven’t got any solutions to provide.”