We'd heard Yohane Banda, the biological father of Madonna's adoptive baby, was getting sick and tired of the press, sick and tired of being hounded, sick and tired of having to explain why he'd changed his story so many times. He'd gone into hiding and we needed to find him.
We set out for Yohane's African village at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, the day after Madonna's interview on Oprah. Two hours of bone-jarring dirt road later, we arrived at his tiny village tucked away in a remote corner of Malawi.
The padlock on his door was the first sign of trouble. Also, none of the villagers wanted to volunteer any information on his whereabouts. Finally, we managed to convince one of his relatives. She told us he was staying with his sister at a different village a short drive away. Now anyone who's done any travelling in Africa knows the minute you're told something is a short dive away, it means it's quite a distance.
A half-hour drive later we arrived at the village of Kazyozyo, not far from the Zambian border. A few inquiries later, we found Yohane sitting outside his sister's hut drinking tea with his sister. Her husband is a teacher at a nearby school and together they have two children.
Yohane was surprised we'd found him but he was ready to talk, ready to set the record straight. We sat down for his first interview since Madonna appeared on Oprah. Our interview will be on "360" tonight.
Yohane told us he was pressured by various civil society groups to say he didn't understand the fine print when signing over the adoption papers of little baby David. Now, he says he wants Madonna to have his son as her own, to raise him, educate him and give him the life he'd never have gotten here in this impoverished corner of Africa.
Yohane made a passionate plea to Madonna to ignore all the media hype surrounding the controversial adoption and said she shouldn't give up the fight for baby David. He says he'll be going to the High Court in Malawi on Friday to tell the judge to throw out the case brought against it by a group of human rights organizations that want the adoption law in Malawi to take its course -- namely, that any potential parents should live in Malawi for a minimum of 18 months before being granted adoption rights.
In the end, I felt sorry for Yohane, a 32-year-old illiterate vegetable farmer. His first two sons died of Malaria in their infancy and David was his third and only living child. David's mother also died of Malaria soon after he was born.
Yohane's had a tough life, and he doesn't get a cent from giving David to Madonna. What he does get is, literally, a one-in-a-million chance for his son. David is one of a million children scattered across various orphanages in Malawi who have lost at least one parent. He now gets an opportunity to grow up wealthy and privileged and maybe one day come back and help out his poor family in one of Africa's poorest countries.