Depression and Anxiety have recently been put on the spotlight as the deadly leading medical condition in the world. The world of academia in South Africa, weathered a thunderous storm when one of its greatest academic, Professor Bongani Mayosi who was the Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, committed suicide sometime last year. A damning truth that depression and stress truly knows no boundaries.
Fast forward to the year 2019, South African gospel icon, Hlengiwe Mhlaba revealed that she had actually used her school belt and hung herself on the rafters, after a tense and overwhelming domestic episode. However, the worst would have happened if she had not been “saved in the nick of time.”
According to Sowetan Live, Hlengiwe spoke publicly at Tembisa, East Rand about this dark period in her life, which occurred before becoming famous.
“The only thing I needed was a signature on a form that confirms that I will pay back the church money. When the family member
refused, it really frustrated me because I wanted to study. I took my school belt and tied it to the rafters and hanged myself. Luckily, I was saved in the nick of time.”
Hlengiwe Mhlaba’s revelation was part of a campaign called Ungazibulali Depression and Suicide campaign. This important initiative was created by motivational speaker, Nkululeko Kanye, who is also a suicide survivor. Other celebrities have also been roped in to raise awareness about the dangers of depression and suicide.
The world of South African hip hop almost came to a standstill after the news of rapper, HHP’s suicide came about. The rapper was heavily suspected to have committed suicide after battling with depression for the longest of time.
In an interview with SABC 3’s Trending SA, HHP revealed that his music career had been dwindling for a while, and that had contributed immensely on his depression. He even further stated that he had actually started entertaining the bizarre idea of sending through his resume and just settling for a “normal nine to five” job.
Initiatives such as these serve as a reminder that our beloved celebrities are human, just like the rest of us ordinary folks. Conditions such as Depression and Anxiety are silent killers and help is always at arm’s length.