Safira "Safi" Simango appeared in the "Lost in Brooklyn" story arc. She was portrayed by Madalla Hilaire (credited as just Madalla).Safira is a resident and citizen and of Mozambique. She is the daughter of Roberto & Louisa, and the younger sister of Malenga whom she has a really close bond with. She is a very beautiful young woman. She opposes the rules of her strict parents, especially her father, and she longs for more freedom and independence. She also has very close bond with he family's bodyguard and personal driver Oko.
Three years prior to the events of the story arc, her father and brother got into a huge argument and altercation. Malenga had just graduated from high school. So her father immediately wanted him to enroll in college. So he could continue his education. But Malenga refused to. Instead he wanted to paint and pursue a career as an artist. Her father thought Malenga was just wasting his time. Then they argued constantly. Until one day Malenga got up and knocked their father down. After this, her father was furious. So he kicked Malenga out and told him to never come back again. So Malenga left the country and she never saw him again.
Then her brother moved to the United States of America. There he found an appatrtment in a used bookstore called "Martha's Used Books". There he also got a job to begin supporting himself. Soon he begun writing letters to her in secret. He explained to her where he was and how he was trying to make his way. He never mentioned where he was, or gave her his return address. This was because he was afraid that if he did, then their father would find him.
Then in September of 1993, her family came to visit the United States. They came right to Brooklyn New York where Malenga coincidentally was living. They came because her father was a Mozambican Ambassador. Her father was sent on special assignment to the United Nations for a couple of weeks. Then her parents temporarily enrolled their her in Zora Neale Hurston Middle School. When she arrived she caught the attention of many boys, who thought she was pretty, Especially Jamal. She also caught the attention of Tina who took an immediate interest in her and wanted to become her friend. She also happened to be in Tina's science class. She was mostly using this visit to try and find her brother. She wanted to see him again. Since she missed him so much. She also wanted to give him their late grandfather's Makonde carving. She believed it would give him luck to become an artist. So at first, she was just trying to focus on school and her plan of finding her brother. So she didn't show interest in Tina at first. Then it turned out that trying to find her brother was going to be much harder than she thought. His name was not listed in the phone book, and she didn't know where to look. She was devastated, thinking she would never see him again.
Then soon, Tina wrote her a letter. It showed her that she was very interested in both her home country and her language. So she came around and finally became friends with Tina. She invited her to visit her at the Steadmore Hotel. When they arrived, her parents were both pleased to see she had made a new friend. Then she was upset and disappointed to hear her father was taking her to the museum for an educational tour. She begged him to let her spend time with Tina. But he wouldn't listen to her and they began to argue. Until her mother persuaded her father to let her spend a little time outside with Tina. So she got permission to talk with Tina outside for a short period of time. When she got outside, she explained to Tina why her father is so mad at her brother, and what had happened three years before. Then Tina suggested bringing his letters to school the next day. Then they could find clues on where to find him.
Then next day, she and Tina read a letter. It mentioned that her brother rents an apartment in Flatbush. It is inside in a used bookstore, in which he also works. So she and Tina found the listings for five used bookstores in the phone book. She and Tina found out he did live and work at "Martha's Used Books". But he moved out and now lives somewhere in Fort Greene. Also he didn't leave his new address to his old landlord. So she checked another letter. It told her that he now lives in Fort Greene. Also that he likes buying coconuts at a food and deli market. One that is run by a talkative Asian man with an eye patch over left eye, and has a beautiful smile.
So to be able to check the markets around Fort Greene, she lied to Oko. She said she was going to Tina's house to study. Also she begged him to let her walk by herself like a normal person and he did. So she and Tina checked a few markets around Fort Greene. However, none of them had a man matching Mr. Tung's appearance. Then she and Tina relaxed and hung out for a while in Fort Greene park. For the first time since she arrived, she felt free. She had no parents or Oko around. It felt so nice to just do what she wanted and not something educational. Then she and Tina bought some hot dogs. Then spent some time running around and having fun. Until she lost track of time and finally went back to the hotel.
However, being loyal to her parents, Oko informed them that he let her venture out all by herself. The both of them, especially Roberto were furious. So for the rest of their visit, Oko was assigned to keep an eye on her at all times, when both of her parents weren't going to be available.
Then Tina got her friends to help them. They found out he moved on from working in the used bookstore. It said that he now delivers flowers for a florist and washes dishes in an Italian restaurant. So the Ghostwriter Team began calling florists and Italian restaurants. But they had no luck. Then eventually, Jamal and Alex found the Market where Mr. Tung worked. But Mr. Tung wasn't sure when he would be coming over again.
Then the Ghostwriter Team made Malenga a beautiful poster. The theme was from she and her brother's favorite African folktale "Why the Sun and Moon live in the Sky. In the poster she said that she was in New York. So she needs to see him right away. Also she that she has something important to give him. Then she left Tina's phone number on it, to ask him to call it as soon as he sees it. Then Mr. Tung let them leave the poster for him, right by the coconuts at his market. That way, he wouldn't miss it.
Then the next morning, she nicely asked her parents if she could visit Tina. While being accompanied by Oko. Her father said no, because they were going to a lecture at the United Nations. She was mad and disappointed to hear this. She tried saying she didn't want to go. But her father thought she did, believing she would learn a lot. She then got furious and starting shouting. She asked him how he could even know what she wants, when he never even asks her. Also that he never listen when she says what she does want. Then she said that she would rather live with Malenga instead. She feels that he was the only person who listens to her, and would let her do what she wanted.
Her father got furious reminding her not to say his name. She said it was her brother's name and she loves him. Her father reminded her that nonetheless he broke the family rules. Then she snapped at him stating that they are only HIS rules. So he snapped back saying that yes they were. Then she told her father that she hated him. Her parents were shocked and upset to hear this. So her father sent her to her room. But she said no and ran away. Then her father phoned Tina and reported that she ran away. So Tina called a rally to starting looking for her.
Then she headed over to Mr. Tung's market. He gave her permission to wait in front of his store for as long as she wanted to. Then after she left, Malenga came to shop and she just missed him. Then she went over to the promenade at Brooklyn Height to try and wait for him there. He didn't show up. So she decided to give up and go home to her parents. Before she left, she left him messages on colored pieces of paper all over the promenade. They were all messages like: "Malenga, please come", "Malenga, where are you?", "Malenga, I had to go". Then finally the last one said: "Malenga, please, please call the Steadmore!".
Then it was getting darker and darker. She was getting really scared and nervous not being able to find her way. She fearfully walked the streets trying to find anything familiar. She soon came to Fort Green park. Then by remembering where the hot dog stand was, she remember the hotel was the opposite way. So she went back. Then just as she was about to knock on the door, she could hear her father shouting. She was upset to hear what he was saying that he when he found her he wasn't going to let her out of his sight, until they got home to Mozambique. So she left again, and ran all the way to the basement. She couldn't find a door to exit to the street. Then she got herself trapped inside an old janitorial closet. The door wouldn't open, so nobody knew where she was, or hear her cries for help.
Then soon, the Ghostwriter team figured out where Safira was from clues inside the janitorial closet. So the team informed his parents and brother. So they got her out with the help of a hotel maintenance man. Then slowly the door opened and Malenga popped his head in. Safira happily asked him, if it was really him. He smiled saying it was him. She was rejoiced, and she ran into his arm while crying tears of joy. They were reunited at last and they hugged.
Then back at the hotel, after a warm shower and breakfast, her father begun to talk to her. He furiously lectured her, threatening that if she ever ran away again, then she would be in the severest of trouble. Then her mother got him to stop lecturing her that way. She told them the time had come to stop all of the fighting. So they can become a better family. He agreed, so he left alone for a while to catch up with Malenga.
First Malenga promised from then on, to write his return address on his letters. Then he sat next to Safira and had a talk with her. He told her that their mother and father were right. Her running away like that was very wrong and dangerous. She told him that she realizes that know. It was also very scary wondering around all by herself in the dark. She didn't know how to get home. So she thought she would never see him, or their mother and father ever again. Then he asked her if it gave her what she wanted, such as freedom and independence. She then told him that she thought that if she could live with him, everything would be perfect.
Hearing this, he laughed and said that his life was far from perfect. Also most of it, was his own fault. If he hadn't lost his temper, and then knocked their father down. Which is something he will never forgive himself for. Safira told him it was their father's fault too. He should have listened to him too. In fact he should listen more to the both of them. He agreed, but he said it was no excuse for what either of them did. He then says if he could do things all over again, he would try harder talking to their father. Hopefully he would make him listen to him. Which is what he thinks she should do now too. She complained to him that their parents are so hard to talk too. He agreed, but he said she just needs to try.
Then he told her that her coming to live with him, just won't be possible. It just isn't realistic. She should be with their parents. Instead of a 21-year-old brother, who can barely support himself. Then she and him told each other that they missed each other so much. So they hugged again. Then she reminded him that he needs to try talking to their father again. He says that perhaps one day they can forgive each other. He tells her that would depend on their father. She reminded him that it will depend on him too.
Then she presented the Makonde carving to him. She explained that it was what she wanted to give to him. He was both surprised and happy to receive it. Safira explained to him, that it was given to her. But since he is the oldest grandchild, then he should have it. Then they hugged again.