Having suffered for long, things have turned around for 21-year-old young man from Rwanda. Zanziman Ellie, is a real-life Mowgli, who unlike the fictional character wasn’t reared by wolves but liked to spend time in the jungles in the midst of animals and trees.
The reason for this is that due to his physical appearance, he was bullied and teased and found refuge in the wild. Today that is not so as he has joined a school and wears a suit to attend classes looking dapper.
Living with his mother close to the jungle, Ellie has a condition that is called “microcephaly” – in which the child is born with a head in much smaller proportion. To avoid people, who ridiculed his looks, Ellie spent most of his time in the forest.
This changed dramatically when a documentary was made on him last year as it brought a tremendous change in the attitude of the people towards him. Aired on Afrimax TV, it was followed by a GoFundMe page that intended to give Ellie and his mother a life of dignity. Funds were received from round the globe and it allowed Ellie to get education, which he was denied earlier due to his condition.
Now enrolled in a school catering to special needs in the Ubumwe Community Center, Gisenyi, Rwanda, Ellie has made lots of friends and wears a suit every day to school to attend his classes.
According to a news18.com report, Ellie’s mother told The Mirror that “God is a miracle worker" after the drastic change in their life came into being due to the documentary. She said: “He was being ridiculed and I would often run after him. At the moment he is in school with his peers and I am so happy. My son is having a good life, well-wishers have built me a house… my sorrow has been taken away.”
Moreover, the film has made Ellie a local star, with people eagerly wanting to click pictures with him.
The microcephaly disorder which does not have a cure so far, has made Ellie speechless since childhood. It also causes seizures, developmental delay, intellectual disability, hearing loss and vision problems. While the exact reason is not known for this condition, it generally occurs when the brain is unable to grow at a normal rate.