Mabinty Bangura was Michaela’s given name when she was born in Sierra Leone, which was in the midst of a devastating civil war. Michaela’s mother handed most of the food to Michaela and ultimately passed away from starvation.
The little girl, then three years old, was sent to an orphanage, where the people who were responsible for caring for her swiftly determined that she was the “least lovable” kid there.
Vitiligo, a skin ailment that Michaela has had from birth, is characterized by areas of the skin that do not have any pigmentation.
Because of the patches that were found on her body, the other children at the orphanage referred to her as the “devil’s child,” and they assigned her the number 27 out of the total of 27 children who lived there.
Because of this, she was left with the last items of clothing and food, and as a consequence, she felt more alone than ever before and was hungry.
Michaela only had one companion when she was staying at the orphanage, and her name was Mabinty, who was rated number 26. The other Mabinty received a poor score since she was left-handed and peed the bed, both of which were considered negative traits. The two got quite close as they began looking out for one another.
But then, one day, the winds blew in a new beginning. Michaela stretched out to retrieve a magazine that had been blown up to the orphanage gates by the wind.
The front of the card featured a dancer dressed in full costume. Michaela was conscious of the fact that she aspired to be a dancer as well. Despite the fact that Michaela had just discovered a source of inspiration, the plot of her narrative was about to take yet another tragic turn.
Michaela’s favorite instructor, a pregnant lady who taught her about dance when she spotted that magazine, was lost. Elaine and Charles DePrince, a couple from New Jersey, were going through their very personal nightmare at the time.
They had adopted three American boys, but sadly, all three of them passed away from AIDS since their blood had been polluted. The mother said that she was obviously heartbroken, but that despite this, she intended to go on living and loving.
Michael, one of her sons, had suggested to his mother that she adopt a child from Africa, and, as a result, the couple decided to send a picture book to the orphanage that was caring for the two Mabintys. The Mabinty with number 26 was selected.
Then an unexpected turn of events took place. The adoption agency contacted Elaine and inquired as to which Mabinty she would be taking home. They also said that because to No. 27’s vitiligo, a total of 12 other families had previously decided against adopting her.
On the moment, Elaine made the decision that she would take both girls back home with her.
“I responded, ‘We’ll take her.’ I responded by saying, “After having to deal with AIDS, I really don’t have an issue with spots.”
Things got off to a rocky start due to the language barrier as well as the girls’ reluctance to trust anybody with their hearts after what they had been through. However, Elaine exhibited feelings of compassion and empathy, as well as love that was not conditional.
Mia and Michaela, who were both four years old at the time, were renamed after her late son Michael, who had been the one who inspired her to adopt children from Africa in the first place. In addition to that, she inquired as to what Michaela want, which was a first for the youngster.
Michaela immediately started dancing on her own toes after seeing her brand-new mother the magazine cover featuring the ballerina.
Michaela is now a successful dancer, a teacher, and a motivational speaker. She has traveled far and wide to tell her experience in the hopes of serving as an inspiration to others.
She started performing at the Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City when she was only 17 years old, making her the youngest dancer in the company’s history.
Her prominence only increased from that point on. In her early twenties, Michaela rose through the ranks at the famed Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam to become one of the best ballerinas there.
In addition, in 2016, Beyoncé personally chose Michaela to create a dance solo for the music video for her song “Freedom.”