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‘The new pandemic is suicide’' — Gigi Lamayne opens up about losing her friend

‘We are not talking about it and this façade that we are happy, meanwhile people are dying inside’

Gigi Lamayne says people need to start having conversations about the pressures young people are going through .
Gigi Lamayne says people need to start having conversations about the pressures young people are going through .
Image: Instagram/ Gigi Lamayne

Rapper and actress Gigi Lamayne is mourning the loss of her university friend who she says constantly helped others to heal.

Taking to her Twitter timeline, she labelled suicide “a pandemic” that is a “silent genocide” ending the lives of the youth.

The rapper opened up to TshisaLIVE about how this troubles her.

“This has been something that has been swept under the carpet for longer than it should have been.

All of us have seen that for some reason there has been this issue around suicide brewing for the longest time, and I think people only started really talking about it earlier this year when it started happening more than usual. 

I think a huge issue around it is that people are tiptoeing around the situation, something that’s new to our context as Africans. I do believe we need to start having the conversation around why this is occurring, and what are the pressures the youth are going through .

She said her friend was a motivational speaker who uplifted the community, someone who called himself a kasi preacher every day of his life.

“ When you see him in videos you will see this is somebody who was continuously tying to heal the people around him, he was focused. It is scary that somebody who tells you to be strong wasn’t strong enough and that is the route they took.

For me that was the shock behind it. I didn’t know he was struggling that much because he never showed it. He was always very strong for everyone, including myself. When I heard about it I was shocked, it made me realise everyone is putting up a façade.

He put up a façade that he was strong as a male black child, that he was going to do things, but in reality things ended very differently.

“It hits more because this was somebody who tried to be there for children and his community. this person is not out there promoting alcohol. tis is somebody who is actively trying to find a purpose in society.

So for somebody like that to break themselves, what does it mean about society? The same people trying to serve as a glue, as a bond to correct issues, to become big brothers and big sisters to young people who don’t have parents because dad walked away and mom passed from HIV? What does it mean when the leaders and healers are killing themselves?

The people who make you feel good, who make you believe in yourself, somebody who’s going to say every day 'stay shining' and they end their lives. It is serious issues. We are not talking about and this façade that we are happy, meanwhile people are dying inside.”

She opened up about a dark time when she attempted to take her own life.

“I'm somebody who also at some point tried to take my own life. I regret doing that. I will never go down that road, only because of the look I had seen on my mother’s face and that haunted me until this day.

I live with guilt not because of everyone, but because of that look on my mother’s face, who was about to bury their child. 

I understood that the reason I survived was because I need to be an activist. I need to speak out against this pandemic that is slowly taking the youth and people don’t understand it."


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