Switched at birth – New chapter in man’s life unites him with biological parents

Filimone Maserau who was switched at birth at the Labasa Hospital more than 20 years ago hugs his mother Sofia Maleti after his wedding outside the Catholic Church in Labasa. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Filimone Masarau was overcome with emotion when he wed his sweetheart Mereadani Tamaidaniele at the Labasa Catholic Church yesterday.

Apart from embarking on a new chapter in his life, the Matalolo man got hitched in the presence of his mum and dad and his biological parents.

Mr Masarau was switched at birth 27 years ago – where he was mistakenly given to Sofia Maleti and Tevita Salalivaliva on August 1, 1994, instead of his birth mother Farina Bi and father Nasir Khan.

He hugged Ms Maleti – the woman who brought him up – and said “vina’a valevu nana na veisusu vinaa” (thank you very much mum for raising me up well).

The mechanic and yaqona farmer said he faced numerous challenges while growing up in Matalolo Village.

“It wasn’t easy growing up and then discovering what happened at the Labasa Hospital in 1994,” Mr Masarau said.

“But I thank God for my parents, especially mum, because she was a fighter and she didn’t give up on me.

“The situation has brought us closer to my biological parents and my brother Asif as we have learned to accept everything that has happened.”

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