By Nqobile Tshili
A 101 year old woman committed suicide by throwing herself into a stream in Bulawayo’s Kingsdale suburb on Tuesday evening. Gogo Sarah Phulu, who was born in 1917, threw herself into a tributary to Umguza River after complaining of loneliness following the death of all her sons.
Her body was found on Wednesday morning after a futile search conducted the previous night.
The Chronicle could not establish the number of Gogo Phulu’s sons who had died but was told that one of them passed away recently.
“When her last surviving son died, she became worried saying who would bury her as all her sons were now dead,” said a family member.
Phulu’s son-in-law, Mr Josiah Simbanegavi, said she became troubled following the death of her son.
“What drove her into that? I don’t know. But all along she was disturbed by the fact all her sons had passed away. Maybe, just maybe, that bothered her a lot.
“She was of advanced age and we never thought her death would come in such a tragic manner,” he said.Mr Simbanegavi said the granny left her clothes near the stream, giving them a sign that she had thrown herself in it.
“Yesterday we failed to locate her in her bedroom, that’s when we started to search for her all over. We found her clothes — tennis shoes, jersey and a walking stick, by the stream,” he said.
“That disturbed us and we started searching for her by the river. But because it was too dark, we could not go further and went to the police station to report the matter at around 7PM.
This morning, two or three young men started searching for her in the river and they found her in this pond.”
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident.
“As the police we’re very disturbed by this incident. It is unheard of that an elderly person of 100 years of age commits suicide. At her age we thought she would offer counsel to younger generations when they are facing problems,” she said.
Insp Simango urged members of the public to seek counseling services whenever they face societal challenges. The Chronicle