A-12-YEAR-OLD pupil from Nkayi committed suicide by hanging himself from the roof trusses in a bedroom at the family home.
Bright Sibanda of Mbatshaza village, under Chief Sikhobokhobo did not leave behind a suicide note so reasons leading to his death are not yet known.
His grandmother, Ms Margret Moyo (60) discovered the body and no visible injuries or marks were noticed on the body which was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital for post-mortem.
In an interview, Ms Moyo said prior to taking his life, Bright did not show any signs of depression and they never suspected that he was suicidal only for her to discover his body on Thursday.
“On Wednesday night he refused to sleep in the same bedroom with me. I, however, didn’t suspect anything as it is something he has sometimes done. I discovered the body on the following morning when I checked on him so that he would prepare for school. I found him hanging on a rope on the roof truss in the spare bedroom,” said Ms Moyo.
She said she informed her neighbours and a report was made to the police who attended the scene.
The woman could not say what grade the boy was in saying she could not comment further.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese confirmed the incident.
“The reasons why the boy decided to take his life are not known, but we encourage people to seek counselling when having problems. Engagement of third parties such as family, church elders, police, community leaders or even school authorities is the only possible best solution,” she said.
Matabeleland North provincial education director, Mr Jabulani Mpofu, said suicide was becoming a disturbing trend among school going children. “This is already the first suicide case, happening on the first week of schools opening in the province. We’re worried about this growing trend of children resorting to ending their lives when facing various challenges in life. We wish they could learn and be advised better,” he said.He advised pupils and parents to make use of guidance and counselling officers that are available in every school. Mr Mpofu said young children are more likely to have relationship problems with family members or friends.
“Parents or guardians, school personnel, and healthcare professionals need to know the warning signs of suicide like sudden withdrawal from friends or activities, extended unhappiness or increasing aggressiveness or irritability and what steps to take when these signs are present,” he said.