Teen girl’s selfie exposes family secret
An innocent selfie taken by a teenage girl helped to reveal she had been stolen as a baby - and her pal in the photo was actually her sister.
Miché Soloman was 17 in January 2015 when she began her final school year at the Zwaanswyk High School in Cape Town and she heard about a new girl, Cassidy Nurse, who looked almost identical to her.
When the two met in the corridor, Miché says she felt an instant connection despite the three-year age gap and the two quickly became friends.
One day the pair took a selfie together, prompting friends to ask if Miché was sure she hadn't been adopted.
Even Miché's mother Lavona commented the two girls looked alike when she saw the photo.
SNATCHED FROM HOSPITAL
But when Cassidy's parents, Celeste and Morne Nurse, saw the photo they said they had a question for Miché - was she born on April 30, 1997? It turned out she was.
A few weeks later Miché was called to the headmaster's office where two social workers told her about a three-day-old baby called Zephany Nurse, who had been taken from Groote Schurr Hospital in Cape Town 17 years ago but had never been found.
Initially, Miché was sceptical of the story but agreed to a DNA test that proved conclusively that she was the baby Zephany Nurse who had been snatched. The revelation left her stunned.
She said: "I sat there in shock. My life was out of control."
Then police arrested Lavona Soloman, the woman she had grown up to believe was her mother.
Miché said: "That broke me. I needed her. I needed to ask her, 'Why? What's going on?' I was so overwhelmed that I belonged to someone else."
It is thought Lavona concealed a miscarriage and then faked the rest of her pregnancy before stealing the baby, bringing the baby home and pretending she had given birth alone.
JAILED FOR TEN YEARS
Then Miché faced meeting her biological parents but had very mixed emotions when they met.
She said: "I was like, 'Just go with it because it's a shame for these people, they have been through a lot'.
"I felt nothing, I didn't feel that I'd missed them."
The disturbing case hit the headlines when the trial began in August 2015 with Lavona denying any wrongdoing.
Despite her claims, she was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Desperate for answers about what happened to her, Miché went to visit her mother in jail but her mother simply said, "One day, I will tell you."
Unsure about the future, Miché moved in with her dad Michael, considering that was her "safe space".
Miché has struggled to form a relationship with her biological family and even said at times she felt she hated them for taking her mother away from them.
She has also kept the name Miché rather than the one she was born with but now, after all these years, has made peace with her other self. Her story is now told in Zephany: Two mothers. One daughter by Joanne Jowell.
Miché said: "Zephany is the truth and Miché, the 17-year-old girl that I was, she was a lie. So I've managed to balance both names. You can call me Zephany or Miché, it's fine."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission