‘Chichibella’ finally gets her birth certificate
After nine stressful years of trying, Diandra 'Chichibella' Francis has finally received a copy of her birth certificate in hand.
Speaking with THE STAR yesterday, Francis said that when she went to collect the document from the Montego Bay branch of the Registrar General's Department (RGD), she burst into tears.
"But there were tears of joy. I was and is still very overwhelmed. Honestly, I can't find the words to explained how I feel, but I am excited and I feel magnificent. To know that I use my birth paper and get all the documents such as TRN (taxpayer registration number) and passport and just do something with my life, is a blessing. I am thankful to THE STAR and the RGD for helping with this long journey. A huge burden has been lifted," she said.
Based on Francis' birth certificate, she will go by the new age of 43 and not 45, as is currently stated on her national identification card. She has also started a deed poll to have her name officially changed from Chichibella to Diandra Rosemarie Francis. During her years at Lowe River Primary School in Trelawny, she was constantly teased about the name Chichibella, which was used to register her at the institution. By age 14, she had unofficially given herself the name Diandra.
Francis was born at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, but her mother, Elaine Allen, previously told THE STAR that she could not remember the year she gave birth. An elated Francis said that now that she has received the vital document, she will be hunting for a meaningful job, adding that it will also lighten her medical expenses.
"I needed a copy of my birth certificate to give my doctor so I could get a NHF (National Health Fund) card, because I have a lot of sickness, including high blood pressure, heart problem and asthma. I also have five children, so I can go and get a work now that is meaningful. It's like my life just started. I am really happy," she said.