Gospel star Hlengiwe Mhlaba has revealed how she once attempted to take her own life. Mhlaba, who is part of the Ungazibulali Depression and Suicide Campaign that encompasses different musicians, joined the campaign to educate youngsters and the public.
The campaign is a brainchild of motivational speaker Nkululeko Khanye, who also attempted to kill herself twice. The first instalment of the campaign was held at Rabasotho Hall in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, on Saturday.
Mhlaba said the incident happened way before she became famous. She cited trying to kill herself because her family was refusing to assist her. The award-winning gospel singer was preparing to go to tertiary to pursue her teaching degree after getting a scholarship from church.
“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,” she said.
Mhlaba said the campaign was important because it addresses an issue that affects everybody.
“We use our own stories to motivate the public about dangers of depression. Celebrities are able to share the pain and the pressures of the industry which lead to this depression. “There has been an increase of suicide cases of people in general and famous people. This is worrying.”
Mhlaba believes that artists and celebrities were drowning in depression because they were not taught how to adjust when times evolves.
“You can be a star today, tomorrow you are out of favour, and no longer making money. The biggest problem is that when you face such challenges you don’t know who to talk to.”