South Africa: The Disappearing Decuplets - Deconstructing the Fable of the 10 Babies


Sorry, South Africa, but the decuplets do not exist.

There are no decuplets. This sentence could become the Mzansi version of Ceci n'est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe), the famous Surrealist declaration under Rene Magritte's painting of a pipe.

"There are no decuplets": in our rendering, this slogan would be appended directly below the now-famous photograph of Gosiame Sithole looking like a python who just swallowed a Mini Cooper.

But seriously, guys, if I could have your attention for a minute, just some housekeeping: there are no decuplets.

This sucks, I fully acknowledge. But it must also be admitted that we, as a nation, went a teensy bit batshit crazy over the whole thing. For the amount of emotional energy collectively expended over these hypothetical newborns, one would think they had been sent directly from the Almighty to save our souls and mend the cracks in our power stations.

They never existed. The 10 tiny babies we yearned to see lined up next to each other in gender-matching bootees: they weren't real. Mourn them at your leisure, but mourn them we must. They are as fake as Hitler's diaries, as the Cottingley fairies, as the tokoloshe stealing...

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