WITH the little life that was left inside her, one woman fought to christen her newly born baby before breathing her last a few decades ago.
On her bedside, she left a piece of paper on which she had written her child’s name – Mugove Chizutu.
The ill-fated circumstances that marked the start of Mugove’s life would continue to haunt him throughout his life.
His existence, it appeared, was mired in a web of hopping from one unfortunate life event to the next.
Having been dealt this devastating blow at birth, Mugove was raised at an orphanage where circumstance always seemed to conspire against giving him a fair shot at succeeding in life. Upon reaching 18 years of age, he was ejected from the orphanage as he had reached adulthood.
What awaited him outside was a difficult life, one of constantly moving from one thankless job to the next. Coupled with an addiction to hard drugs, this cocktail of wretched circumstances threatened to drive him to the brink of giving up.
Last week, Mugove tried to put an end to it all. He survived a suicide attempt after launching himself from the ninth floor of Tanganyika House in central Harare, marking a sad turn of events for the youthful Hatcliffe man, who seems to have never known rest since birth.
The incident, which was captured on video and circulated widely across social media platforms, captured nationwide attention.
It hinted to the rising cases of suicide in the country.
In the video, Mugove is seen leaping from the building before landing with a thud on the roof of an old garage below, amid loud screams of disbelief from the crowd that was watching.
He miraculously survived. However, he suffered a fractured left hand, a broken jaw and deep cuts on his head and legs. He was admitted to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where his condition is currently said to be stable, but critical.
Little is known about what triggered the tragic chain of events that drove Mugove towards ending his life.
Known to his peers as “Blujoh Bantan”, Mugove, who is in his twenties, grew up at Ivordale Orphanage, which is run by a local church in Murehwa. At this institution, he enjoyed the comfort and care of foster parents.
After being expelled from the orphanage, he found life outside relentlessly unforgiving.
A Hatcliffe woman, who took Mugove into her home after his expulsion said he lived a troubled life.
“Mugove’s mother died in hospital and only left a note with his name and his father’s surname,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
“While we don’t know much of what happened next, all we know, according to what he told us, is that he was taken to Ivordale Orphanage in Murehwa. The orphanage is run by a local church and these are the people who took care of him in terms of upbringing and schooling until he turned 18.
“He was then asked to leave the orphanage and go and start his own life elsewhere since he was now an adult.”
She said she met him as he desperately searched for a place to stay.
“He came to me after being referred by a close relative of mine who used to work at the orphanage,” she added.
“The relative pleaded with me to take him in until he found his feet.
She said during the short period she stayed with him, she noticed that Mugove was exhibiting traits of drug abuse.
“After he got a job at a hardware shop in town, he moved out to live with a friend.
“They later went their separate ways after a feud with their landlord.”
She last heard from Mugove when he was committed to a drug rehabilitation centre, where he was recovering from drug addiction.
Upon release from the centre, he moved to Epworth.
Not much is known about the circumstances that led to his suicide attempt last Tuesday. A vendor who sells soft drinks adjacent to the scene of the attempted suicide told The Sunday Mail that before the incident, Mugove had asked her for water as he was making his way into Tanganyika House.
The witness, who also chose to remain anonymous, said Mugove was shouting and complaining about being tormented by “invisible people” whom he said wanted to kill him.
“I saw him that morning when he asked me for water,” said the witness, adding that he appeared intoxicated. He then said someone was trying to kill him, and he proceeded with his mission.”
Minutes later, Mugove would leap from the building in an apparent suicide attempt.
“I was shocked after coming across pictures of him on WhatsApp when he attempted suicide,” said the Hatcliffe woman who stayed with him earlier.
“I always noticed that he exhibited traits of mental health issues, but never thought he would attempt suicide.”
She added: “He is a good person; I never imagined it would come to this.”
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said the authorities were worried about rising cases of suicides in Zimbabwe.
“The cases are worryingly increasing,” he said.
“We are analysing the issue in order to come up with correct statistics of suicide cases and related data. Once these details become available, we will provide them to the public.”
The latest available World Health Organisation data, reported on in 2019, shows that 14 out of 100 000 deaths in Zimbabwe are a result of suicide.