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A 29-year old woman after recounting how she saved her husband from a crocodile attack in Kavango River in Namibia, gets awarded.
Elizabeth Shintangu narrates the deadly experience, saying she never thought a day like would ever come when she would be that brave to fight a crocodile to save her husband, Matheus Kativa.
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The Rundu narrates that it seemed like fate already had the day planned out because she initially didn’t plan to go to the river with her husband on that faithful day.
According to the report, Elizabeth said they have been bathing and washing clothes in the river for as long as she can remember and no such incident have been heard of.
“I still cannot believe that I was so brave as to fight a big crocodile to save my husband’s life.
“I got up very early to work in our mahangu field. At around noon, I went back home, and my husband wanted to go and take a bath in the river.
“For some reason, I discouraged him from going to the river, but he insisted since he wanted to take a bath. I guess this is what people call fate.
“Since he was so adamant, I decided to accompany him. I took along our laundry so that I could do some washing while he was taking his bath.”
She said instead of Kativa taking a bath when they got to the river, he took a nap on the banks of the river, while she washed the clothes.
“When I was almost done, I woke him up because it was getting late. Strange enough, he refused, saying he did not want to bathe anymore. Then, he suddenly changed his mind and went into the river to bath. We chatted while he was bathing, then I heard him scream.”
The husband, Kativa who was lucky to have survived the crocodile attack says he could not believe he was alive after the experience with the reptile.
“It was like a car had fallen on top of me. It was confusing to realise that I was in the grip of a crocodile. I screamed for help, and the next thing I saw my wife on top of the reptile, fighting it. Then it let go of me, and by that time my lower arm had been severed.”
They both tried to swim to the riverbank, and just when he thought the nightmare was over, the crocodile came back and grabbed him again.
On the second attack, Kativa thought he would die for real and waved his wife goodbye, however, she did not give up on him.
“The water was all red with blood. I then saw his face as he waved goodbye. I swam fast after them, and held his left hand and started pulling him back. Part of his right hand was still in the reptile’s mouth.
“When another piece of that arm tore off, the crocodile let go of him. But it came back again, and this time I decided I was not going to let go. I continued screaming as loud as I could, and decided that it was better for the crocodile to take his arm and not his or my life.”
Her screams attracted people from the nearby village who came to pull them out of the river.
Crocodile Attack Survivor
Months after the incidence, Kavango East governor Samuel Mbambo awarded Shintangu’s bravery with a trophy.
He stated that it was extraordinary since in most recent cases, people either run away to look for help when a person encounters a crocodile attack, or they just stand, doing nothing.
“This woman proved to us that we can fight gender-based violence with love, protection, and commitment. I am not saying jump in the river and fight a crocodile, but the fact is that she did it without thinking twice.
“These are positive stories we want to hear, and men must see how prepared our women are to save us from danger. This type of selflessness can make us a better society. By this trophy, we also want to boost the morale of our communities and the force.”
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Kativa said he will forever be grateful to his wife, adding that all women are brave, but they just wait for the right moment.
The couple is busy rebuilding what they lost while Kativa was in a hospital and could not work in their fields.
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