Zephany Nurse, who was taken from her biological mother when she was three days old, told eNCA she just wanted to run home to her “mommy” – the woman who kidnapped her – when her real identity was revealed.
“What if I didn’t need saving?” she told Anika Larsen in an exclusive interview broadcast on Thursday night.
“I was perfectly fine.”
Days after obtaining court permission to go public after an initial ruling protecting her identity, she spoke to Larsen after releasing her book Zephanyby Joanne Jowell.
The book tells the remarkable story of how she was kidnapped from Tygerberg Hospital in 1997 and in a twist of fate, was discovered while at high school in Cape Town. She had been living within walking distance of her biological parents Celeste and Morné Nurse.
Renamed Miché Solomon, she was raised by Lavone and Michael Solomon.
It was after a comment that she bore a striking resemblance to another girl at the school, that she discovered via a DNA test in 2015 that she was the missing baby Zephany Nurse, and that the other girl was her biological sister.
Her kidnapper told the Western Cape High Court she got the baby from a woman called Sylvia, who had been giving her fertility treatment in 1997 after she had miscarried.
Sylvia arranged for the baby to be handed to her at the Wynberg train station without her prior knowledge, she claimed. Lavone was sentenced to 10 years in jail for kidnapping.
Zephany told eNCA that when she first met her biological parents at a police station, there was hugging and a lot of crying.
“I stood there and I pretended….I was standing there. I thought ‘I feel absolutely nothing’.”
She apologised to her biological family for some of her comments and said she understood that her mother had hurt them very badly. She said they were still working on their relationship.
She told eNCA that life with the Solomons was normal and stable and they looked after her well, with her ‘mommy’ always having her back.
Seeing Lavone being called a criminal in court broke her emotionally.
“For some reason, I can’t hate her,” she said.
Now a single mother of two, she says the book also touches on other topics, such as life after discovering she was kidnapped. She hopes that her story will bring some hope to people who need it.
She is keeping the name Zephany, because after everything that happened, “Miché is dead”.
But she does want her ‘mommy’ to tell her one day what exactly happened on that day, she told eNCA.