A teenage rape victim from Ethiopia has told a British newspaper she is the birth mother of Angelina Jolie's adopted baby Zahara Marley and is delighted to see her offspring has been offered a better chance at life.
MENTEWAB DAWIT, 18, tells The Sun newspaper she had no idea who had adopted her child, until the publication tracked her down in a town outside of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. After seeing a photo of Zahara, Dawit confirmed, "It's true. I am her mother. She's got my nose, my eyes, even my cheeks."
Dawit was brutally raped by a stranger one night last year (04) and discovered she was pregnant four months later. Despite friends and family urging her to have an abortion, Dawit bravely went on to give birth in the town of Hosanna on 7 January (05).
Dawit explains, "I was all alone after giving birth, but I was so happy to have my child, but I was thinking about its future."
After moving in with her mother and naming the child SETOTA, which means gift, Dawit began a job at a construction company to try and pay the families' bill, but found she wasn't earning enough to feed the tot, who began rapidly losing weight.
She continues, "I could only eat a piece of bread each day, so it was very difficult to me to breastfeed my child. I assumed my baby was going to die."
Dawit eventually gave the baby up for adoption and was relieved when Setota/Zahara Marley was found a home in July (05) - when Jolie picked her up in Addis Ababa.
After being told of Jolie's fame and fortune, Dawit is delighted her baby will have a safe and healthy lifestyle.
She enthuses, "I am so grateful to this lady for giving my daughter a better life. I want them both to know I love them very much. I want to say thank you to Angelina for giving my baby this wonderful, loving family.
"I want to ask just one thing of Angelina - which is that she gives my child the education I would love for her. In the future I would like to know about her condition, but I will never try to interfere with their lives."