Friday, July 14, 2006

Being Happy Sindane

When I was a young girl, I used to fantasize that my parents were not my biological parents. They were taking care of me until my real parents came for me.

It was a wonderful fantasy to have, especially when I was angry with them, or tired of being poor or just bored with my mundane life in the village.

My real parents were rich and lived exciting lives. I never could work out why they could not take care of me, but I was sure they loved me and would raising me themselves if it was possile.

But deep down, I knew that it was all fantasy designed to temporarily make my world better. I was born of my parents and no one was coming to rescue me.

I knew this because I was a deeply loved child and my parents sacrificed a lot for my benefit and I knew it.

Also, I look remarkably like my siblings, both male and female.

A good friend once asked me after seeing one of my siblings at a supermarket:
“Do you do cloning in your family?"

I was not there to introduce them, but there was no doubt in her mind who it was when they met.

This resemblence was sometimes frustrating, because in it’s difficult to carve a distinct identity when you’re wearing someone else’s face.

Your face may be older/younger/broader/thinner/male/female, but essentially, it’s the same face. And people who knew my older brother well sometimes didn't bother to catch my name. Why bother when I could easily be called little (my brother's name)?

I know my younger brother and sister also faced the same problem. To this day, I think asking my sister and I: "are you two sisters" is the most pointless thing anyone can say to us.

What logical reason could there be for the two of us to wear similar faces when we're clearly not the same age, and I'm not old enough to be her mother?

There are advantages though to resembling other people so cloesely: I knew who I was and where I belonged and I was secure of my place in the family and the village.

When hope dies

So I can’t help but feel sorry for Happy Sindane, the 19-year boy who years ago alleged that he had been kidnapped when he was a baby.

I think when the story first broke in the media few people, if any, doubted that he was White and had likely been kidnapped. How else could he account for looking White and yet growing up in an African village?

The only question was where his real parents were and how soon the media coverage would drag them out of the woodwork.

It would have been a wonderful fairytale, with the parents happy to get their son back and Happy restored to the life he believed should have been his.

However, DNA tests however proved that the woman she thought kidnapped him was his biological mother. She had since passed away. His German father never came forward to claim him.

I guess that’s when the hope that he was living the wrong life, that someone would come to rescue him, died.

Since then, Happy has had a lot of misfortune, and recently, the media reported that he may be suffering from mental illness.

To read the story, go to

Someone should publish Happy's biography

The poor boy will never get his fairytale ending, because at 22, he is no longer anyone's legal responsibility, his education was incomplete, he has no work experience that can help improve his life and now it seems his brain was somewhat damaged.

And the media doesn't let up on him. I wonder why a publisher doesn't commission his biography? If Happy was educated and aware of what gets published, I'm sure he would be blogging/ looking for a book contract by now.

His story is interesting and could sell internationally, and the people responsible for taking care of him could sure use the money. Then at least, he would benefit from the rough deal life dealt him.

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