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Nomboniso Gasa @nombonisogasa
, 10 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
1. Noby Ngombane opened the front door to his assasin with his 5 year old daughter, Zandile next to him. 13 years later, urged by her mother, Nokwanda to check on her, I found her hanging in her room on 9/05/2018. She was 1st year student @ AFDA, in CT. #ZandileNgombane #Suicide
2. The young woman hanging in that little room was, silent. On Friday 4/05/2018, we hung out together. In my B&B room, had deep conversation about her dreams & her family. Our discussion on semiotics of film & feminism was passionate & incredibly stimulating. #ZandileNgombane
3. I gave her my Mac and asked her to google a number of authors. She was 18. She’d read a lot for her age. Her eyes widened, as she discovered names and theories that were new to her. Shortly before 10pm, I put her in an Uber & she left. #ZandileNgombane
4. There are no words to describe what I saw on Wed. There she was, vulnerable and yet, I remembered even in the state of shock, what Japanese say about suicide - that it takes tremendous courage. That it is not cowardice. #ZandileNgombane #Suicide
5. Zandile knew that her mother loved her & her brother, unconditionally. She was not shy to say this. None of us know what happens in someone’s internal being. But, this I know because she said it. She loved and longed for her father. It was not longing from ‘lack’ but love.
6. Zandile was deeply troubled by lack of resolution of her father’s murder. She was angry that her mother, aunts & uncle were scapegoated. She wanted to make a film about the injustice to widows. She asked me, “What about justice for Noby? What about us, my brother & I? Mommy?”
7. I listened to her deep voice as she spoke of her profound pain. Many of us have long moved on from that story. Noby is history. To her daughter, he was an absence and her first BETRAYAL by the country and the people she loved. Their mother raised them by the skin of her teeth.
8. I wanted to share the news of the death of this young woman. I decided not to use “committed suicide” but took or ended her life. That’s a discussion for another day. To the journalists, I hope next time you cover a story like Noby’s, you’ll pause. Don’t censor yourselves.
9. But pause, consider all sides. Chris Hani was assassinated in 1993. Most journalists didn’t pause and ask difficult questions from their sources. This happened to Noby, too. Look at media coverage before he was assassinated. Be fearless but please, be rigorous.
10. Nokwanda, her son and family insist that we should name Zandile’s death what it is, #Suicide. There is no shame, no blame, no sin, no crime. #Suicide is terribly painful. I hope more people will speak out and destigmatise it. #ZandileNgombane #Suicide #MaRhadebeRIP
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