Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
A GIRL (14) allegedly committed suicide after her mother ordered her to do homework and polish her shoes before watching Generations the Legacy soapie on TV.
Nomakhwezi Mzaca Nkomo, a Form Two pupil at Townsend Girls’ High School in Bulawayo, allegedly used her younger brother’s belt to hang herself on a screen door of their Sunninghill house in the city on Thursday night.
Her younger brother is said to have been the first to see the body, around 9PM.
Nomakhwezi’s father, Mr April Nkomo, said he was shocked by his daughter’s decision to take her own life.
He described Nomakhwezi as a gentle, reserved and obedient child, who was responsible as the eldest child and always took care of her younger brothers.
“I do not know what went wrong with my daughter. I cannot express the pain that I am feeling at the moment. How could she leave us behind at such a tender age of 14? How could she take her own life? We do not have the answers,” said Mr Nkomo.
Nomakhwezi’s mother, Mrs Mendo Nkomo, said she did not shout at her daughter but just told her to make sure her school stuff was sorted before she could watch television.
“She was such a lovely child and she never came up with excuses when it came to her school work or house chores. I never raised my voice at her, I just told her that she was taking too long to polish her shoes and her younger siblings needed to apply shoe polish on their school shoes as well so she had to be quick. I told her to stop concentrating on TV but to go to the kitchen and finish her homework. The next thing, we found her hanging by the kitchen screen door,’ said Mrs Nkomo.
Mr Nkomo said he was away when the incident happened and was told over the phone that his daughter had hanged herself. He said the family called an ambulance but a neighbour rushed her to hospital before it arrived.
“She was rushed to United Bulawayo Hospitals where she was pronounced dead after doctors failed to resuscitate her.
“Her mother tried to render first aid as they were waiting for help. When they got to hospital, the doctors and nurses tried to resuscitate her. They failed and told us the worst news that she was no more. They could not bring her back to life,” said Mr Nkomo.
“My daughter was lifeless; I quickly took her body down from the screen door. Her body was still warm so I still had hope that she would live,” said Mrs Nkomo.
Mr Nkomo said he worried about his younger children who all saw their sister dead.
He said he hoped that they would get professional counselling to ease the trauma of the sorrowful memory.
He said: “I am appealing to organisations that offer professional counselling to assist my wife and children who had to deal with such a painful incident. I feel so weak on my knees when I try to imagine what my wife felt when she saw our child hanging in the kitchen. They need help to move on from this painful phase of our lives.
“Just this morning, my eight year old son said to me, ‘Daddy my only sister is gone for good? I miss her.’ It hurt me so badly and made me realise that these children would need help or else this would haunt them for life,” said Mr Nkomo.
Nomakhwezi was buried at West Park Cemetery on Saturday.