Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
A 17-YEAR-OLD Nkulumane suburb boy was found hanging from the roof of his father’s bedroom after he had gone missing for four days.
Kholo Jamela was reportedly under investigation after allegedly defrauding some members of the public.
He was living with older siblings who did not enter their father’s bedroom during Kholo’s absence as he is said to be admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital.
The family was left in shock on Saturday morning when, after searching for Kholo everywhere, they found him hanging from the roof.
According to a mental wellness organisation – Create Zim, Zimbabwe has the 13th highest suicide rate in the world amid reports that cases have been on the rise, making suicide the 14th leading cause of death in the country.
Suicide cases are increasing in Bulawayo especially among youths and police have called on people to consider counselling instead of resorting to suicide.
Mental wellness among men has become a public health concern considering the rising cases of depression and suicide in the country.
A man’s masculinity is seen as closely tied to physical and emotional strength and invincibility which often hinders them from reaching out when in need of counselling.
Chronicle visited the Jamela family yesterday but they refused to comment only saying Kholo will be buried today.
One of his uncles who identified himself as Mr Sibanda said the family would deliberate on whether to comment to the Press on the matter but were yesterday busy with burial arrangements.
Neighbours said the boy who was a pupil at Mandwandwe High School committed suicide using a rope.
Mr Khaliphile Nyoni said the boy was last seen leaving his home and his siblings assumed that he was missing.
“We are still in shock. This boy leaves us with heavy hearts and we cannot understand what really pushed him to end his life. Reports are that he was recently involved in fraud on EcoCash and police were looking for him which could have scared him into ending his life,” said Mr Nyoni.
He said the boy came from a respectable family and leaves many broken hearts in the community.
“His father has been unwell and is admitted to a hospital which explains why he hanged himself in his bedroom knowing that no one would easily open it since his father was away. We hope the family will heal and that our children will remember that no amount of problems should push them to end life,” he said.
Another neighbour who chose anonymity said the boy did not leave a suicide note to at least help the family trace where his sorrows emanated from.
“We live in difficult times where people resort to suicide when faced with challenges. Kholo’s death should be a painful reminder that nothing is worth taking your life for. We feel for our neighbours who had to witness him hanging lifelessly from their father’s bedroom,” said the neighbour.
Acting Bulawayo spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said the boy hanged himself in his bedroom, not in his father’s.
She said Kholo was last seen on October 7 by his brother after they had a conversation about builders.
“On October 7, 2020 at around 9AM, the informant last had a conversation with the deceased about builders who were supposed to construct the durawall at their place of residence. The informant is brother to the deceased and they were staying together,” said Asst Insp Msebele.
“Four days later on October 10, 2020 at around 1000 hours, Kholo’s brother knocked at his bedroom but there was no response. He discovered that it was locked from inside and used a screwdriver to open the door.”
According to Asst Insp Msebele police were notified and they attended the scene.
“Observations at the scene were that the deceased used a rope of about two metres long, green and white in colour to hang himself on the roof truss. The body was searched and nothing was found. The body was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital for post mortem,” she added.
Asst Insp Msebele said community leaders, church leaders and non-governmental organisations are ever willing to offer support and counselling to anyone in need of the services.
“We also encourage parents, guardians and school teachers to monitor the behaviour of those under their care, to question suspicious behaviour and try to control the situation before it reaches another level. As police we are also there to offer help because we cannot continue losing lives unnecessarily.” — @thamamoe