Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been going through a public divorce that has revealed some very personal details of their life together. Jolie has alleged that Pitt is abusive and she doesn’t want him around any of their children. One of those children is Zahara, a 12-year-old whom Jolie adopted from Ethiopia when she was just an infant. At the time, Jolie was told that Zahara’s mother had died of AIDS, according to the Daily Mail. It was discovered later that though very ill, Zahara’s mother Mentewab Dawit Lebiso survived and recovered. She currently lives in a shack where she rents out two rooms as her only income and has expressed a very intense desire to meet or speak with Zahara.
The Daily Mail interviewed Lebiso who says she doesn’t want money or to take Zahara back. She keeps up with news about her via her brother who lives in America and follows the tabloids. She’s seen pictures of Zahara and says she feels a rush of pride when she sees what a lovely young lady she’s grown into. She says, “I just want her to know that I am alive and here and long to be able to speak with her. I do not want my daughter back but just to be in contact with her and be able to call her up and talk with her.”
Jolie allegedly didn’t know that Lebiso was alive until 2007 when she gave her first interview. Lebiso says she was never offered any money but that it “does not worry or disappoint” her.
Lebiso says she knows Jolie is much more Zahara’s mother at this point, but she still wishes for some kind of contact. She says of the Jolie/Pitt split, “I want my daughter to stay with Angelina. She is a good mother and all children should stay with their mother. I am sorry that they are splitting up and I will pray for them, but I do not think it will affect Zahara that much.”
Lebiso was 19-years-old when Zahara was born, and she named her Yemasrech which means “good news” in her native language. Lebiso had been raped by a man who crawled in through her window at her grandmother’s house. Afraid to tell her family, she didn’t admit what happened until the pregnancy began to show. She was disowned by her family, but they eventually reconciled. Her father built her the home she now lives in before he passed away.
It seems unlikely that Lebiso’s desires are high on Angelina Jolie’s priority list, but when she turns 18, Zahara will be free to contact her birth mother if she’s interested. Perhaps that’s why Lebiso is giving out interviews—just so Zahara knows that she’s waiting.