It’s the stuff of fairytales and fantasies. Shakespeare dabbled with it too. An abandoned orphan girl discovers she’s a princess after all. But for one girl from a remote Russian village, fact became stranger than fiction.
The everyday routine of 16-year-old Anya Bazanova in the village of Kon-Kolodez near the Ukrainian border does not differ much from that of other villagers: taking care of domestic animals, doing garden work. It’s only that dark-skinned and curly-haired Anya does not look very much like her neighbours. Now it’s turned out she is not a mere mortal but has Royal blood running in her veins.
Life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the girl. Born to a Russian mother and African father, she was abandoned by both when she was six months old. Her father, a prince from Guinea-Bissau in western Africa, returned to his homeland and her mother fell mentally ill.
Her father recently got in contact and now says he wants Anya to come and live with him when she turns 18.
“I’d like to go there. I think I’ll develop my career and he will help me in it. I can get my education there,” she said.
But it’s a tough decision and one which doesn’t just affect Anya. Irina Yakovleva was a good friend of Anya’s mother and has been looking after her since she was a baby. Although she admits it’ll be hard to watch Anya fly the nest, she knows her father can offer her a better future.
“I met him before when he was studying here, but I haven’t seen him for 15 years. Things have changed. He looks like a presentable man now. And I think I can trust him to look after her,” Irina said.
Anya says she’ll be sad to say goodbye to her Russian life. But with the help of her friends and some native fashion, she’s already getting ready for her transformation. She’ll soon not only look the part but also be playing the part of a real African princess.