After 32 years, singer Mujahid George has finally broken his silence about his kidnap hell as a baby.
The Bo-Kaap star revealed to the Daily Voice this week that he was snatched by his nanny when he was just two months old.
He was found 36 hours later, badly burnt and fighting for his life in a shack in Khayelitsha.
The singer says he spent almost a year in hospital where doctors first fought for his life and then worked to repair his burnt body.
Mujahid says he has suppressed his ordeal all his life, not even telling his wife of 10 years.
Now he says he is finally ready to share his story with the world in the hopes of inspiring people to assist the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, where doctors saved his life.
Mujahid explains that he was abducted by his nanny of two years in February 1988.
“My mother was at work, my older sister and I were in the care of my nanny and another older family friend who suffered from Alzheimer’s,” he says.
“My mother didn’t know that the nanny, who was in her 30s at the time, was in the hospital the day before where she lost her baby.
“My parents didn’t even know she was pregnant.”
Mujahid says this chapter of his life was unknown to him until his teenage years, when his mother felt he was old enough to understand.
“I was 16 and our family from New Zealand came to visit and my aunt mentioned it.
“My mommy sat me down to tell me and I couldn’t believe it.”
Mom of four Moseda George, 55, says the experience of losing her baby still haunts her to this day.
“Mujahid was a healthy baby when he was born, we never expected to spend a year in hospital after he was taken,” she says.
“That day, I came home around 4.30pm from work, my daughter who is a year older than Mujahid was alone with our family friend who had Alzheimer’s.
“I didn’t immediately notice anything wrong because I trusted this woman with my baby, up till today I still love her to bits.
“I then noticed Mujahid and the nanny were gone. No one had seen them and I asked her maid friend next door where she lived.
“She was my babies’ nanny for two years and she loved Mujahid the most, she would tie him to her back and embrace him daily.”
Moseda says she struggled to find a car to take her to Khayelitsha, and she was also afraid to make a case with police because she cared deeply for the nanny and didn’t want to get her in trouble with the apartheid police.
“When I got a car, myself and three relatives ended up in Khayelitsha at the nanny’s shack.
“When I got inside, she was breastfeeding Mujahid, and I grabbed my baby from her.
“Her neighbour told us: ‘Why would you think she kidnapped your child? She was then pregnant and has a baby.’ We were shocked to hear this.
“We immediately rushed him to Red Cross, and there I discovered he had been burnt on his back with boiling water, we still don’t know how that happened.
“I understood she lost her baby and I didn’t want to harm her further so that day I left her home and never saw her again.”
Moseda says to this day, she does not have any baby photos of Mujahid.
“I had the imam pray for him and a family member het hom uitgemantra, [when] they found that Mujahid wasn’t just abducted, but also gedoekoem by the nanny.
“We had to burn all his clothes and baby pictures, anything he wore before his abduction, had to be burnt.
“We then performed an aqeeqah (slaughter sheep for a child) to rid him of any dirty harms done to him.”
Mujahid says he doesn’t have any scars from the burn wounds, and has forgiven his nanny
Meanwhile, Red Cross spokesperson Dwayne Evans says they are only able to keep records until patients turn 21: “With the volume of patients seen at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, it wouldn’t be feasible or possible to keep the records.”