By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Namibia and the world became a star child richer with the birth of film super stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's daughter in a private hospital at Walvis Bay in the early hours of yesterday. Little Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, whom New Era reliably learned weighed 3,5 kg at birth, will be issued a Namibian birth certificate and passport by the ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration prior to her parents leaving Namibian shores, if they so choose. Both mother and daughter are in excellent health. The couple will remain in the country for at least two more weeks before returning to Hollywood. "I am glad everything went well. The birth of the child was a normal one without any complications. An American childbirth specialist was especially flown in by the couple to be on standby. However, this doctor's assistance was not needed because a local doctor delivered the child," a happy Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Leon Jooste, said yesterday. Jooste represented the Namibian government in persuading the film couple not to leave the country after being pestered by the world paparazzi that converged on the country since their arrival more than a month ago. "I think little Shiloh Nouvel is the world's best protected baby from the prying eyes and the financial greed of the media for that first photo. The situation will remain as such until a decision has been taken on what to do next. Presently, the child's citizenship is the parents' biggest priority. She will not have dual American citizenship, only Namibian, Pitt and Jolie have decided," Jooste divulged. A price tag of US$3 million has been put out on the first exclusive photo of the baby by an American magazine. A well-known former Namibian and South African photographer was last week arrested for trying to take photos of Pitt and Jolie in Swakopmund. Other members of the paparazzi were deported from the country for the same offence. "Shiloh has a biblical connotation and meaning to it for a house of worship, reflecting on the couple's religious beliefs, contrary to the wilful stories that have been circulated that she would be given a Namibian name. That was absolute nonsense," said Jooste, who emphatically refused to divulge the name of the private hospital for fear of another paparazzi stampede. According to an AFP report, however, the child was born in the Welwitchia private hospital at Walvis Bay. Asked why a Namibian photographer should not be commissioned to take the first official photo of the newly born child, Jooste responded as follows: "Negotiations are presently being conducted with an international publicity company to do the honours of taking such photographs. The good news is that a Namibian charity is considered to financially benefit from such a legal financial agreement and transaction," the deputy minister said. New Era was also reliably told that the world's children organization, UNICEF, also stands to benefit from the first photo of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. "The Namibian government tried its utmost best to protect the privacy of Brad and Angelina and will continue doing so for as long as they remain in the country. Their presence in Namibia has been of great value to us in the international world. For tourism, their stay is a huge benefit. Who knows, other big shot Hollywood stars might follow suit and also come here to enjoy their private life styles," Jooste said optimistically. "More details of the birth as well as a local press conference will follow at an appropriate time and will be communicated by my office," reads a statement issued by Jooste yesterday. Jolie and Pitt have been staying at an exclusive apartment for almost two months awaiting the birth of their first child. During this time, the couple visited various Namibian tourist attractions known to Jolie from her days of shooting the film, "Beyond Borders", in the country some three years ago. They romantically got involved whilst shooting the Hollywood blockbuster "Mister and Mrs Smith".
2006-05-29 00:00:00 12 years ago