Miracle flood baby visits renowned lensman
Riot Hlatshwayo and Juvian Pule
The baby girl born in a tree during the floods in Mozambique in 2000 visited a South African village on Saturday.
Rosita Mabuyanga, now seven, was accompanied by her mother, Sophia Pedro, a well-known Mozambican journalist, Eduardo Fegurao, and the executive mayor of Chibuto in Mozambique, Zacharia Soto, and his wife Maria.
They paid a courtesy visit to photographer Sam Nzima, the man who is famous for taking the picture of Hector Pieterson during the 1976 Soweto riots.
The internationally famous child was all smiles as she sat next to her mother at Nzima's home on Saturday.
Residents of KwinyaMahembe in Bushbuckridge came in large numbers to get a glimpse of the "miracle child".
"Many people don't believe that I was born on top of a tree, but I do because it was my own mom who told me about it.
"God is wonderful and that is why he turned me into the miracle child I am today," said the shy Grade 4 pupil.
Her mother supported her sentiments, saying if God had deserted them they could have been swept away, "but because the Almighty wanted to make history they became safe".
"The whole family was on top of a tree surrounded by an ocean of flood water that had also covered our homes in March 2000.
"I felt labour pains and my mother-in-law helped me give birth to Rosita," Pedro said.
She said they had been on top of the tree for three days and were afraid to sleep because they could fall into the water and be swept out to sea.
The mother of three said she felt like crying every time she related the story because it reminded her of the horror experience.
Pedro said she was flown to the US where her daughter was honoured for all Mozambican children.
"We were promised that we will be flown to America again when my daughter is 10 years old for her to be officially honoured," she said.
The visitors were staying at the Kruger National Park, from where Nzima collected them on Saturday morning, and will return home today.
"We are honoured to have you here," Nzima told them.