3rd pupil suicide this term as Form One girl hangs

The late Brightness Thebe

The late Brightness Thebe

Whinsley Masara, Chronicle Reporter
A FORM One pupil at Pumula High School in Bulawayo allegedly committed suicide by hanging yesterday, the third such incident in Bulawayo this term.
Brightness Thebe (15) from Magwegwe West suburb had not been attending lessons prior to her hanging.

Bulawayo Metropolitan Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident. “We received a case of sudden death by hanging of a 15-year-old female. She had a misunderstanding with her mother following her refusal to attend school leading to the mother beating her up,” said Insp Simango.

She said while at work yesterday, the mother received information that her daughter had hanged herself.

“The body was discovered by a tenant hanging from a mango tree in their yard, said Insp Simango.

Ms Zenzele Dlamini, an employee at Hillside Teachers College, said her daughter had been refusing to attend school since last term.

“Last term, the school authorities called me over that matter. I took her to my sister’s place in Makokoba suburb where we counselled her on the importance of education. It seems this did not change her attitude towards school and just last week the school authorities called me again. This time teachers said she had been absent for eight days,” she said.

Ms Dlamini said on Tuesday she once again persuaded her daughter to attend school and she thought everything was fine.  “This morning I actually woke her up as usual to lock the doors as I left for work. At around 8AM, I received a phone call informing me that Brightness was dead. She had hanged herself.”

The late pupil’s aunt, Sikhangele Dlamini said they were shocked by her death.

“Her mother was alerted by school authorities last term that she was not attending school and only last week they called again to complain about the same problem,” said the aunt. She said the girl’s mother beat her up on Tuesday night to force her to attend school.

Two weeks ago, a Form Four pupil at Mzingwane High School in Matabeleland South allegedly hanged himself, fearing disciplinary action over alleged theft.

He hanged himself from the roof trusses of a disused boiler room behind the school hostels using his belt.

Last month, a Form Four pupil from Mbuyazwe Secondary School in Umguza District also hanged himself after quarrelling with his mother who had chided him for bullying his younger brother.

He allegedly hanged himself on a tree with a piece of wire near his school, just a few metres from his home.

In August last year, a Form Two pupil at Silveira High School in Bikita allegedly committed suicide after being bullied by a schoolmate.

The body of the 14-year-old was found hanging from a beam of a building at the Roman Catholic-run school. Some said he committed suicide after being threatened by a fellow pupil who claimed to own a big snake that he intended to use in harming him, in a suspected Satanism threat. In October 2017, a Grade Six pupil at Mckeurtan Primary School in Bulawayo also allegedly hanged himself from a tree in a bushy area between Nketa 8 and Emganwini suburbs at an apostolic sect shrine, some distance from his home.

The pupil was a relative to Nomakhwezi Mzaca Nkomo (14), a pupil at Townsend High School who had hanged herself a month earlier at her family home in Sunninghill suburb after her mother ordered her to do her homework before watching South African soapie, Generations: The Legacy, on television.

Again in November last year, an Upper Six pupil from Sizane High School in Bulawayo allegedly tried to commit suicide twice after she was caught cheating in a Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) Biology paper 3 examination.

Bulawayo acting Provincial Education Director, Mrs Olicah Kaira said yesterday that Brightness was the third pupil in Bulawayo to commit suicide this term.

“The increase in cases of pupils committing suicide is a cause for concern given that schools offer guidance and counselling services,” said Mrs Kaira.—@winnie_masara

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  • Kulez

    Parents must always find out why children refuse to go to school. It’s possible she was being bullied or abused and was unable to confide in anyone. Sad

  • ntaba

    it is important to find out what is making the child refuse school, l had an incident where my son sighted bullying at their school and teachers not responding to reports, we discussed way forward and l ended up transferring the child to another school. In that other school he said everything seems okay

  • Nkunzemnyama

    Why are reasons not given why all of a sudden she was refusing going to school? The mother talks about counselling her on importance of education. Surely a 15 year old does know about that. They should have asked why she was not going to school anymore and attend to the problem.

    • Chokwadi

      Stupid and abusive mothers . .

  • Brutal Truth

    This is heartbreaking.May her soul rest in peace .The Ministry should ensure Schools’ Guidance & counseling programs address this issue of suicide among learners, to avoid young & promising lives being lost.Talking of Pumula Secondary, that thing is not even a school but a Prostitution Training Centre.Parents let us also take our children to proper schools

    • Ndlukula Ye Sizwe

      What are you talking about ? Pumula has one of the highest pass rates in the district. Dont just blurt out things based on your ignorant assumptions. What does prostitution have to do with this tragic case anyway!

    • LL

      Its not always good to generalise things. I am a product of that school, a Masters degree holder and a member of senior management in a big corporate.

  • siphilanzima

    maybe she was getting love proposals from a staff member or a pedophile was in the vicinity , or bullies

  • God of War

    Either she was being bullied or the was a pedophile at that school who was abusing her. Maybe she didn’t know how to contact childline.

  • Chokwadi

    No parent should be allowed to bit her child, not even teachers or other students. The mother has to be charged with child abuse. What a stupid and pathetic woman : the solution to any problem with your child is to bit her up and abuse her….

    Contrary to popular belief, Zimbabwean mothers are more physically and verbally abusive to their kids than fathers – they are cases husbands have hit their wives for abusing their children.

    Children need to be protected from their parents too, a parent should not have the right to hit her child…it’s not even necessary…

    Arrest that woman . . .

    • ntaba

      there are cases where husbands have taken the lives of their spouses, chokwadi, the mother must have had the wish to see the girl succeed in life by taking her education seriously, at times as a parent you might miss it with teenagers

      • Chokwadi

        Domestic violence between couples is nothing new – being ignorant to your child’s depression and withdrawal , a child who was barely holding to life – and then bitting her and driving her to death is another thing.

        Now she is dead, what success is there ?

        I will never make the mistake of getting a woman unworthy of raising a child pregnant with my own child….I will make it very clear to my future wife that my kids will be raised how I want them to be raised…her opinions are secondary to mine.

        Rule number 1 : you will never hit my child, under no circumstance is it necessary. Better countries with better citizens have come to this realization, through research Their kids are ‘grounded’ not hit, as punishment, not even at school, and they always grow to be better people than educated shitthole country people like us – they adventurous, confident, pioneers, and successful, with less STI than us…u cant argue results.

  • Chokwadi

    Some women shouldn’t have kids….single mothers are the worst.

    • ntaba

      dont try to potray that point as though the child lost its life because her mum is single, how do you know, its just tragedy that befell the family

      • Chokwadi

        It’s obvious she is a single mother – she had no awareness, no perception, doesn’t even know how to really listen to her child…

        Nothing is just a tragedy, the child was showing obvious symptoms of depression, withdrawal that she worsened by her abuse, what a pathetic mother.

        In her stupid head biting a child solves all her problems – SHE MURDERED HER CHILD…SHE CONTRIBUTED TO HER SUICIDE.

        We dont even know how to nuture children, we break them before they even reach 16…what a shame…

        Ambuya virova vana….amai vairova vana….iwe unongorovawo mwana…because that is our culture…how pathetic…other countries have questioned and changed their traditions ..but we take pride in doing the same stupid things our parents did.

        • Rutendo

          This could have happened to a child in any family setup. Its no crime being single. There are many reasons people raise kids as single parents. If your family is still intact, thank God and pray it remains that way because it can change in a mini second. Let’s respect each other no matter what, ngatisanganei nenyaya sezvairi

        • afrikan

          …and the so called married mothers do right by their children? What has being a good parent got to do with the parent’s marital status?

        • chrogic

          What is special about your children that you dont discipline,and dont tell us about other countries this is zimbabwe.You are clearly a moron,there are children who are raised by single mothers who are well behaved and those raised by both parents who are terrrible nxx idiot!

  • siphilanzima

    just to remind you it takes two to make a child a man and a woman

  • Doctor Do little

    You have your own views but for me Zimbabwe is a damaged broken society that needs a lot of healing. When you have a broken society it affects children and adults alike. Look at the rate of adult suicides in the country. Are they being beaten by someone? No. They are being beaten by the economy and the system.