Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
A 19-YEAR-OLD student from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Bulawayo was crushed by a train in an alleged suicide with family members managing to identify her by part of her leg and jacket she was wearing.
Blessing Mangena of Cowdray Park suburb who was a first year Statistics student lay on a railway track near her home on Monday night after her boyfriend allegedly disowned her pregnancy and told her he was married.
The student, who was said to be brilliant in her studies, lived with her uncle as her parents work in South Africa.
Blessing’s parents, Mr and Mrs Mangena, arrived from their South African base yesterday evening and could not contain their grief at the death of their daughter.
Police from Luveve Police station attended the scene.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident yesterday afternoon.
“I can confirm that we attended the scene of a case of sudden death where a 19-year-old woman was found lying dead on a railway line. Investigations are underway and at this time we cannot disclose the cause of death,” said Insp Ncube.
The Chronicle visited the family and spoke to Blessing’s uncle, Mr Trust Munkombwe, who lived with her as her parents reside in South Africa.
Mr Munkombwe said he works in Binga but at the time of the death of his niece, he had come home for examinations at Lupane State University.
He said his niece left a suicide note, revealing the reason why she decided to end her life. “She said she was sorry for disappointing the family. She did not know how to break the news to us but she was four and a half months pregnant and had discovered that her boyfriend was married after pretending to be a bachelor during their relationship. She asked us to be strong for her mother,” said Mr Munkombwe.
The suicide note read: “Mum is the best, please comfort her for me. I love her”.
Mr Munkombwe said they started looking for her at around 8PM on Monday to no avail, before they learnt of her death from social media messages, hours later.
“After we had given up looking for her, we saw some viral messages on WhatsApp which were alerting people of a young woman who had been crushed to death by a train at Cowdray Park near the Water Works. I rushed there with my neighbour and to my shock, we discovered that it was my niece. I could only identify her by my jacket that she had borrowed in the morning when she left for school,” he said.
Mr Munkombwe described his niece as a hard working and brilliant student who never had any disciplinary problems at home.
He said she was also an active member of the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Cowdray Park suburb.
“It was so painful I could not even look at her. All I could identify her with was my jacket and a piece of her leg and shoes she was wearing. That was all.
If only she had told me, I would not have allowed her to do this. These are the problems of child headed families. I am away at work most of the times so children lack counselling and guidance and neighbours also fail to act in loco parentis as our communities have changed,” said Mr Munkombwe.
“Her parents invested so much in her education. She passed very well at Mtshabezi High School in her O-levels before attaining 13 points in Maths, Biology and Chemistry at Sizane High School for her A-Levels. Her dream was to study Pharmacy, although she was enrolled for Statistics at Nust.”
Blessing is survived by her parents and young brother.
Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course. — @andile_tshuma