A healthy 2.4kg little girl named Blessing was born at Milnerton MyCiTi station on Thursday December 13, just before 8pm.
The mother, Unathi Nzintha was on a MyCiTi bus on her way to the hospital from her home in Dunoon when she went into labour. As luck would have it, one of the passengers on the bus was a professional nurse.
When she boarded the bus, Irene Kabongo, who has been a nurse for 10 years, was unaware that her journey home would be the most eventful trip ever.
“I was on my way home from a job interview and it was a quiet evening. I sat down next to a pregnant woman who told me she was not feeling well at all. She was on her way to Somerset Hospital as she was having contractions. I asked her about the contractions and how far apart they were. I then realised that at any moment, she could start giving birth so I called the emergency number and we both got off at the next station,” she said.
Anele Damgazele, a MyCiTi employee stationed at the Milnerton station, who had just started his nightshift, recalled seeing Ms Nzintha get off the bus and he and Ms Kabongo quickly started working to help deliver the baby.
“I would have never thought that I would, at any point in my life, help deliver a baby and possibly assist in saving both the mother and the baby’s life,” he said.
Mr Damgazele, a Philippi father of three, said the most important thing was that the mother and the baby were safe and out of danger — which had been his main concern during the whole experience.
“While the mother was lying on the blanket we laid out for her, I could see the baby’s head and I asked the security guard to fetch an emergency kit and scissors,” Ms Kabongo said.
“I always walk with my gloves, so I put them on. Then she pushed and the baby was out and I cut the umbilical cord. I’m proud and happy that the knowledge I have saved a life,” she said.
A while later, the ambulance arrived and the newborn baby with her mother were taken to Somerset Hospital.
The City’s mayoral committee member for area north, Felicity Purchase, described the incident as a “joyous and a beautiful story”. She said that she was very proud of Ms Kabongo, Ms Nzintha and Mr Damgazele for being able to bring new life into this world under difficult circumstances.
“All of us, from the City to the contractors who provide and operate the MyCiTi service, celebrated this good news after we’d been told what happened.
“I wish Unathi and Blessing a blessed new year. I also hope that nurse Irene is successful with her job application. The skills and calmness she displayed during this emergency are a testimony of her character and skills,” she said.
Ms Nzintha said that she would name the baby girl Blessing because “it was a blessing that the nurse was there, next to me, when I needed her. She did a great job.”