Charlotte Nana Yaa Nikoi, a Ghanaian-born director with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), has been declared missing in South Africa. She hasn’t been seen since March 21st.
ikoi, 50, went missing in the middle of a leisurely hike with her husband, Chris, on Platteklip Gorge along South Africa’s famous Table Mountain range, according to News24.
Nikoi, an associate director for human resources at Unicef’s headquarters in New York, arrived in South Africa from New York about a week before she went missing. She was holidaying in the country with her husband in celebration of their 22nd wedding anniversary.
According to her husband, the couple had planned to visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, but were forced to abandon the idea when they could not get tickets and settle for a walk on Platteklip Gorge.
Chris says he went ahead with the climb, leaving her behind after she said she would be coming along at a much slower pace. An alarm was only raised hours later when she failed to arrive at a rendezvous point.
A day after her disappearance, Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSR) spokesman Johan Marais told reporters that volunteers working alongside Skymed Aerial Rescue Services had scoured the mountain area but found no sign of her.
“We are 95 percent sure that she is not in the area we went to search for her. Which means she came off the mountain and was either taken away or went away from that area,” Marais said.
The South African police say they have opened a missing persons case for Nikoi, adding that aerial and ground search for her would continue.
Unicef has also confirmed Nikoi’s disappearance, with a spokesperson for the organization saying they are hopeful she will be found.
“We are fully co-operating with the local police and hope that she will return safely to her family,” Unicef spokesperson Najwa Mekki told reporters last week.
Police say at the time of her disappearance, Nikoi was wearing light blue shorts; a cream, black and, brown cardigan; a sleeveless black top; brown sneakers; and oval-shaped glasses.