Namibian police has awarded a woman a trophy for bravery for saving her husband from the jaws of a crocodile in 2016.
Elizabeth Shintangu fought off a crocodile after it gripped her husband, Matheus Kativa while they were at Kavango River.
Narrating the events of that day, Elizabeth told The Namibian:
I still cannot believe that I was so brave as to fight a big crocodile to save my husband’s life.
I got up very early to work in our mahangu field. At around noon, I went back home, and my husband wanted to go and take a bath in the river.
For some reason, I discouraged him from going to the river, but he insisted since he wanted to take a bath. I guess this is what people call fate.
Since he was so adamant, I decided to accompany him. I took along our laundry so that I could do some washing while he was taking his bath.
She added that her husband, instead of taking his bath, decided to sleep by the river bank.
“When I was almost done, I woke him up because it was getting late. Strange enough, he refused, saying he did not want to bath anymore. Then, he suddenly changed his mind, and went into the river to bath. We chatted while he was bathing,” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth said that as Matheus was bathing, the crocodile grabbed his hand and he let out a loud scream.
“It was like a car had fallen on top of me. It was confusing to realise that I was in the grip of a crocodile. I screamed for help, and the next thing I saw my wife on top of the reptile, fighting it. Then it let go of me, and by that time my lower arm had been severed,” Matheus said.
As they both tried to swim to the bank of the river, but the reptile came back and grabbed Matheus.
Matheus said: “This time I thought it was the end, and I waved my wife goodbye,” he related.
Recounting what happened after the crocodile grabbed her husband for the second time, Elizabeth said:
The water was all red with blood. I then saw his face as he waved goodbye. I swam fast after them, and held his left hand and started pulling him back. Part of his right hand was still in the reptile’s mouth.
When another piece of that arm tore off, the crocodile let go of him. But it came back again, and this time I decided I was not going to let go. I continued screaming as loud as I could, and decided that it was better for the crocodile to take his arm and not his or my life.
People nearby heard her screams and came to assist. They were then rescued.
Matheaus said he will be forever grateful to his wife for her bravery.
Samuel Mbambo, Kavango East governor applauded Elizabeth’s action.
“These are positive stories we want to hear, and men must see how prepared our women are to save us from danger,” he said.
Handing her the trophy for bravery, Kavango East Police Commissioner Johanna Ndahafa Ngondo said:
“This type of selflessness can make us a better society. By this trophy, we also want to boost the morale of our communities and the force.”
Photo Credit: The Namibian