In a heart-rending incident, a male teenager from Nkayi district who is understood to have been mentally challenged, committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree at a primary school in Bulawayo.

The deceased, Mpilo Khumalo, a student at Nesigwe Secondary School in Nkayi, is reported to have decided to take his own life by hanging himself on a tree at Mafela Primary School in the second biggest city’s populous Nkulumane neighborhood.

He had reportedly gone to Bulawayo on a visit to relatives living there, but family members say days before Mpilo decided to commit suicide in such a painful manner, he was distraught, saying he wanted to return back to rural Nkayi.

The teenager, who was said to have been mentally challenged, had been living with his Bulawayo relatives since the formative days of the Covid19 national lockdown in April.

According to his brother, Xolani, in the past few days Mpilo seemed distraught, stating that he wanted to return to his rural home in Nkayi’s Madliwa Village under Chief Madliwa.

Xolani said Mpilo was staying with their sister in Nkulumane 12 before he came to his residence in Nkulumane 7.

Surprisingly, they could not locate Mpilo when they woke up the following morning.

Despite searching for him, Xolani said Mpilo could not be immediately found.

“Later on, we learnt that someone had committed suicide at Mafela Primary School and I discovered that it was my brother,” Xolani told the state media.

Prior to his passing on, Mpilo is said to have been showing signs that there was something troubling him.

“On Monday he was not chatting with anyone; he was just quiet and would only respond when asked something. He wanted to return to our rural home having been in Bulawayo since the start of the national lockdown. He came here to seek medical treatment for mental illness and he had seemed to be doing very well but it’s unfortunate this has happened,” he emotionally narrated.

Local councilor, Rodney Jele implored on families to keep watch on the movements of their children, particularly those with special needs.

“This is very tragic and what makes it even more tragic is that this happened at a school premises. We urge residents to monitor the activities of their children, especially those with special needs. There should be a clear communication channel which can avert such incidents,” he said.

state media
Additional Reporting: Zwnews