Saturday Mthiyane: The child of the wild

On a Saturday in 1987, a five-year-old bedraggled boy was discovered living among the monkeys near Tugela River in the wilds of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

Saturday Mthiyane: The child of the wild 1
© Pixabay

This feral child (also called wild child) was showing only animal-like behaviour, he could not talk, walked on all fours, liked climbing trees and loved fruit, especially bananas.

It was thought that his birth mother had left him in the bush when he was an infant, and he was raised by monkeys until Sundumbili residents saw him. He was taken to the Ethel Mthiyane Orphanage and was named ‘Saturday Mthiyane’ for the day he was found.

“He was very violent during his first days here,” said Ethel Mthiyane, founder and head of the Orphanage. Saturday used to break things in the kitchen, steal raw meat from the fridge, and get in and out through windows. He didn’t play with other kids, instead, he used to beat them and he would often whoop at other children. Unfortunately, Saturday Mthiyane died in a fire in 2005, almost 18 years after he was found.

It is a matter of regret that Saturday lived a tragic life to his end, perhaps he would have been happier and better off living his life out in the bush, in the lap of nature!!