When I was younger, I had no knowledge at all about my disorder, facing an unexplainable ordeal in my head, I found myself saying, “the dead are better off.”

Either unconscious while my eyes were open or absorbed by the elephant in my head, my grandfather who sat at the farthest couch in the sitting room of our little RDP house, was suddenly standing before me, with both hands clasped to the arm rests of my sofa, compelling me to take back the words I had just uttered. I did, taking into account the possibilities of getting whipped and the fact that he was always in a good mood and I had never seen him that exasperated before.

To me, he was very beautiful – that is how one commentator describes a great soccer player, not referring to the player’s facial appearance but the out of this world stunts he could pull in the field “uQed’ mcimbi, ungumdlali omuhle kakhulu,” he would say. He was exquisite, in a way that his presence would light up the whole house.

My biggest highlight of him being funny was when he would imitate my grandmother when shouting, in a slightly bass moulded voice, “hh hh hhh. Hh hh hh hhh,” with his head moving horizontally and his right hand impulsively opening and closing with the thumb tapping his other fingers by his mouth.

The whole house would burst in laughter and the defendant would suddenly grin after realising they were being cynical. I won’t mention the beauty of his hands and mind, the clear picture of this creature is an interior strongly moulded – with an average height and skinny old man, who wore a T-shirt, overall pants and tekkies on weekends. The plier handles always protruded from the back pocket of his pants.

“Ah ndoda, mina nazenzela, cabanga ninezandla zami nifune ukwenzelwa omunye umuntu,” that’s how he spoke.

Even today, my older brother and I proclaim to be his real successors, and one of us would hysterically shout when delighted by the fact that we implemented engineering solution in our homes. It is just sad that someone overflowing with values of life would, in his last days, attempt to commit suicide.

I was born and bred in Daveyton, a place recently known as wild. Growing up in a community that was still developing I had no knowledge about my disorder until I was admitted due to major depression. I found no reason to live at all, always felt an unexplainable void. Funny part was, as a child before developing symptoms, I would lie in bed and see a field somewhere and ask myself why is it that we are given the gift of life and it gets taken away from us. Post feeling the deprivation of life I always felt unhappy, in my prime years as a footballer I always pictured myself running away from home and living in the streets and getting discovered by a football coach who would take me, and make him a part of his team – in an academy. It never happened, though.

My brother always said school starts in grade 10, with that being said when I got to the standard, I pushed away everything which might have hindered my academic success. I quit football instantly, bearing in mind that the new coach might have played a role in me hanging my boots, I remember my last match when I was taken out when I had a great game, playing as a left winger, provided an assist and scored a goal and was taken out. When he signalled the referee and attempted to substitute my friend the supporters burst in fury and the action was reversed. He was a coach who came with his team and wanted to play it at all costs.

From the days of quitting football, I became withdrawn, having the notion that I have matured and became reticent. I felt depressed by the nature of my situation, I thought there was more to life than being squeezed in an RDP house, I always thought of greener pastures. I imagined myself in a place where there was no gossip only people who are matured who were in the same thinking capacity as me. Considering the probable vicinity for my new ambition, there was no better place than university. I pushed hard, for better grades, so I could go fulfil my dream. The law of life, I think, is on an incline, if you’re constantly improving yourself, you may face a challenge and think it is the worst, but if you can look back – you’ve been through worst situations than the current.

I managed to get admitted at University and further my studies. I faced depression again and contemplated suicide many times. I thought the place was better and there were people who were mature. I instantly missed my backroom shack, where I would play my songs and study, pray and sleep happily.

The point is there is no place better than the current one, under circumstances we may think that by committing suicide we’re headed to a place where there is no suffering, but growing up in a home believing in ancestors, you hear someone saying they saw a late deceased in a dream confessing they are not in peace. It is better to leave this world God’s time than thinking it might be easy in the next world.

Waking up in the morning, I always picture myself holding my helmet in my hands, and personal protective equipment, knowing I am headed for a battle. We as the world, all aware of the adversities of this world, we can be lenient and kind towards each other. Never make someone less of anything by confiding in you, together we can prevent suicide.


UQed’ umcimbi umgumdlali omuhle kakhulu – Event stopper is a very great player

Ndoda mina nazenzela, cabanga ninezandla nifune ukwenzelwa omune umuntu – I do everything myself, imagine having my own hands and expect someone else to do something for me


Tell us: Do you agree with the author that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side?