Stolen at birth: Zephany Nurse free to tell her own story now

Stolen at birth: Zephany Nurse free to tell her own story now

- Zephany Nurse, as she is known now, has taken over her own life story and is at 21 writing a book about growing up with parents who were actually kidnappers

- The girl who grew up with a different name to that of her birth parents, was “discovered” by a younger sibling when they ended up in the same high school

- The case which hit headlines across the world resulted in the only Zephany had grown up knowing facing a ten year jail term for stealing Zephany from her parents seventeen years before

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A young woman on the cusp of adulthood, Zephany Nurse is now 21 years old, and finally in a position to take hold of her own life story. gathers it is a story she feels needs telling. So in the past few years she has embarked on a project with what she describes as a “great team” of “amazing” authors, lawyers, social workers to help her weave the tale of her story into a cohesive from which she is crafting a documentary for the screen.

Zephany said the project which is nearing completion has involved a team who she is very grateful for. Thanking them for their support over “ long hours of meetings,” she has revealed to family and friends that she is delighted work is almost done.

The story the Nurse couple’s 17-year search for their daughter ended when their younger biological daughter befriended Zephany at high school and classmates noticed the girls’ striking resemblance. When what turned out to be her younger sister, told her father, he contacted the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), and DNA tests revealed the matric girl was indeed Zephany.

The story of the Nurse couple’s search for their daughter might have ended, but Zephany’s life story is an ongoing saga she lives through daily.

Newspapers in Cape Town have reported that the still anonymous 21-year-old took to Facebook ahead of the publication of the book and the release of her film but did not reveal the title of the book and documentary.

Speaking via her legal counsel the Zephany has expressed how much difficulty her situation has caused her, she even has recently declared her love and respect for the woman who raised her and who was convicted of her kidnapping. In Zephany’s eyes the woman, who also cannot be named to protect Zephany’s identity, will always be her “mommy”.

In statements Zephany has reportedly asked that people not judge the woman for what she has done, “if you have no idea what I was sent into”.

In 2016, the only woman Zephany ever knew as her mother, a 52-year-old woman from the Retreat area, was sentenced to a 10-year jail term.

She was convicted of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act for snatching the three-day-old Zephany from her mother, Celeste Nurse’s arms, at Groote Schuur Hospital in April 1997.

Zephany has said getting to know the woman from whom she was snatched has been difficult, saying she had to “endure shocking experiences entering into a new relationship”.

Zephany, who is herself a mother to a one-year-old daughter said people would understand that the “grass is not as green as you think it is on the other side, trust me on that” if they only knew the truth.

This week Zepahny’s biological father, Morne Nurse would not comment on the book or documentary.

However some facebook users have commended her for taking the story into her own hands the way she is.

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