TV addicts with long memories will remember the 2006 story of Wawa, who was at the centre of a Today Tonight story when the show tried to rescue him from cannibalism, only to have presenter Naomi Robson and her crew thrown out of Papua for visa violation.
In July Garry Linell, who was the director of News and Current Affairs at Nine at the time, revealed that he was the one who tipped off authorities because of the ratings bonanza it represented.
Now Matt Doran finds Wawa all these years later.
You might remember his face. Perhaps you recognise the name – Wawa.
Australian television viewers first met Wawa as a scared and sad six-year-old, living with a cannibal tribe in the remote Papuan highlands. The tribe believed the orphaned Wawa was a male witch and had marked him for death.
Australian television viewers were captivated by Wawa’s story. So was the media. Today Tonight even launched a failed rescue mission to remove the little boy from danger.
That was 13 years ago, and the news cycle eventually moved on. Wawa was forgotten.
In a Sunday Night special investigation, correspondent Matt Doran ventured deep into the jungle to find out what happened to Wawa. The truth is more incredible than we ever imagined.
8:30pm Sunday on Seven..