Only two years shy of entering teenage years, eleven-year-olds are unpredictable. One minute, they’re still immersed in activities like running around playgrounds and horsing around with their friends and the next, they’re experimenting with fashion and browsing albums on their smartphones. It’s the age of insisting on feeling, looking, and acting more grown-up. School usually becomes a treat to attend because of the social circle. Being eleven means making plans to hang out and discussing movies, music, and what the latest trends are. As casual and colorful as this age sounds, it’s also the time when pre-teens go through character-building situations. Making sound decisions, acknowledging mistakes and making amends, and… saving a life?
Take, for instance, Rebecca Munkombwe from Zimbabwe. She was hanging out with a group of friends of different ages, swimming in a nearby stream, when she was suddenly faced with a life or death situation. While swimming and chattering, Rebecca and her friends heard cries of distress nearby. It turned out to be another friend of theirs – nine-year-old Latoya Muwani. The girl was swimming on the deeper part of the stream when she felt something bite her hand. To her horror, it turned out to be a crocodile.
The group was stunned and terrified. Thankfully, Rebecca’s protective instincts and sense of responsibility got the better of her and prompted her to take action. The courageous eleven-year-old jumped in the water and swam quickly towards her distressed friend, who was already struggling to float.
When asked what went through her head during the ordeal, Munkombwe explained, “Since I was the eldest among the other seven children, I felt the urge to save her So, I jumped into the water and swam to where she was struggling to float.” The surge of courage that went through her enabled Munkombwe to save a friend’s life. Her heroic move was carried out in the nick of time, too. By the time she was near enough, she saw that the animal had its jaws locked around her friend’s thigh. “I jumped on top of the crocodile and started beating it with my bare hands before using my fingers to poke its eyes until it released her,” Munkombwe said.
As soon as she saw an opportunity to grab her friend from the crocodile’s grasp, they swam as fast as they could back to the water banks. Their other friends, who were frantically waiting for the pair, were able to pull them out safely. The animal did not attempt to chase the two as they escaped, probably too stunned from the beating it got from the eleven-year-old. The victim was rushed to the nearest hospital and received immediate treatment from mild injuries.
Her father was at work when he received the news about what happened. Relieved and grateful, the victim’s father shared, “For a moment there I thought of the worst before I learnt that she had survived after being saved by Rebecca. How she managed to do that I don’t know but am grateful to God.” Thankfully, his daughter did not sustain any serious injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
You hear of heartwarming stories about friends comforting each other, spoiling each other with presents, and surprising each other with parties and what not, but this is something else. Get yourself a friend like Rebecca – someone who wouldn’t think twice about jumping in the water to wrestle an animal and save you. Talk about a close call and serious friendship goals!
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