“I know it will be different and we will have a lot of adapting to do, but I don’t mind putting in the effort.”
These are her words as set out in the book about her life.
Miché Solomon was this week introduced to the world after the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, lifted the ban on making her real identity known.
Solomon launched an urgent application on Tuesday to have the ban lifted, saying she felt it was time to tell her story through the book, written by Joanne Jowell.
She was born as Zephany Nurse on April 28, 1997, in Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town to Celeste and Morné Nurse. She disappeared three days later while her mother was taking a nap.
For the next 17 years, she grew up believing that Lavona and Michael Solomon were her biological parents. It turned out that Lavona had kidnapped her from the hospital after posing as a nurse, and raised her as her own.
When the news broke more than three years ago, the media was in a frenzy to capture her gripping tale, but the woman then known as Zephany Nurse, with the help of the Centre for Child Law, turned to court to protect her identity as she was on the brink of turning 18 - no longer a minor who was protected by the law.
One would imagine that Solomon would have held a grudge against the woman who stole her, as she was the author of all the drama. But it is clear in the book titled Zephany - Two Mothers. One Daughter that she is incredibly close to Lavona.
The woman who raised her is serving a 10-year jail sentence for the kidnapping, but Solomon throughout her book calls her “mommy”. Her biological mother is referred to as Celeste.
She dedicated her book to her two mothers, naming Lavona’s name before that of Celeste.
In the book’s closing paragraphs, she said she could not wait for Lavona to get out of jail. She described Celeste in the next sentence as being “a good woman”, but she said her biological mother had too much to deal with in life. “She doesn’t really have room for me and my kids.”
Solomon and her father Michael often visit Lavona in the Worcester jail where she is being held.
Solomon, 22, has two of her own children, a boy and a girl. While she dotes on them, it is clear that she and Michael - the man who raised her as his own, are very close. She calls herself “a daddy’s girl” in the book and refers to him as “my daddy”. She said she is grateful he raised her.
Her biological father, who is divorced from Celeste, she calls “a lost cause”.
Solomon said she had a normal and happy childhood, with her parents doting on her as an only child.
The lie of who she really was unfolded when she was in matric and a girl who looked exactly like her, Cassidy Nurse, joined Grade 8. It was her sister, whom she never knew. It soon turned out her mother was not her real mother.
Of Lavona’s trial, Solomon said: “I saw my mommy walking to the court with a hoodie on and a scarf covering her face. She looked almost like someone that was poor. People were cursing at her. That broke me
“This is the woman who was there for me every day and now here she is on television being called a criminal.”
In her acknowledgements at the back of the book, Solomon thanked the mother who had raised her so well. “You are paying a price for the cost of loving me. I forgive you, Mommy, and I can’t help but love you more and more. I will always be grateful to you loving me.”
The book is published by Tafelberg and is on sale at R260 a copy.