In many African cultures, this means that the child is not valued by the family – often the family may simply abandon the infant.
In Solange’s case, however, she was kept by the family, but because of her disability – and because of the mysterious disappearance of some eggs –
her father believed that Solange was actually a snake.
Somehow, she was “found” by Nungu Magdalene, Founder and Director of the Center for Empowerment of Females with Disabilities, and was brought to the school. In 2005, an orthopedic surgeon operated on her knees to reduce the deformity. She now wears braces to further correct her legs and to give support.
Last month, when Magdalene was in Solange’s village . . . she gave Solange’s father a letter from Solange. He was astonished. “My daughter wrote this?” he kept asking. Magdalene assured him that she had, and added that Solange wants to become a minister (government official). Suddenly, his entire attitude changed. He began telling everyone whom he saw “My daughter is going to be a minister!”
This true story somewhat parallels a sketch which the children of CEFED frequently perform, which features a disabled child whose father denies her the opportunity to attend school, favoring instead his non-disabled child. As the sketch ends, the disabled child, now grown to adulthood, returns to the family after achieving a position of importance through the Christian love and support of a benefactor. [Solange plays the role of the mother in the video of that sketch, "I Want to Go to School."]
Solange is one of several children who, following a profession of faith, was baptized last December.