Former Joyous Celebration singer Bukiwe Twani has opened up to TshisaLIVE about her battles with depression and suicidal thoughts, hoping it will help others to gain strength in their own fight.
The gospel star will be sharing her experience with audiences at the recording of her new live CD and DVD, to be held at the Soweto Theatre on August 2.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Bukiwe said that her first attempted suicide happened just after leaving school. She had wanted to study to be a social worker but her family was not able to afford her studies. She went to work as a cleaner to provide for her family but soon fell into hopelessness and desperation.
“I thought ‘this can’t be my life’. I just wanted the pain to go away. I waited until everyone had left the house and then took pills. I took pills and waited to die. I remember my family coming home, seeing me suffering and my mother crying for me.
“Everything was fuzzy and I couldn’t see anything clearly. I just felt my mother holding me and praying; ‘Please, God. Not my child. Not now.'”
Bukiwe soon found her calling in life and was snapped up as a member of Joyous Celebration. But after she left the group, her gigs started to dry up and she once again returned to that dark space.
“My solo album had just been released and I was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Crown Awards. But then there was nothing. There was no shows. I saw people being booked and knew it should have been me but it wasn’t me. I started to feel like something was wrong with me and maybe I should just go live on the streets because maybe music wasn’t for me.”
“I started to question God. Why wouldn’t he let me die? Why did he bring me back to life to suffer like this? I felt so hopeless.”
She said that after taking pills for a second time, and being rushed to hospital by her neighbours, she knew that she needed to share her pain or risk having it destroy her.
That is when she turned to her pastor for help and then put it in her music.
“I know what it is like to be alone. I know what it is like to not want to get up in the morning. I know what it is like to be so overwhelmed that you just want to end it all so that you won’t hurt anymore. That is why I am trying to help others see the light in themselves. If I can help just one person, it will be worth it.”