Richard Nhika made a live-streaming video of his suicide, with the gospel singer’s death serving as the latest in a troubling trend of people using live-streaming video to share their final moments with viewers across the internet.
The popular singer and football player from Zimbabwe filmed the two-minute video in a grassy area just outside of Harare, Nehanda Radio reported. In the video, Nhika could be seen drinking from a bottle filled with cotton pesticide, the report noted.
The report claimed that Richard Nhika, who was also known in Zimbabwe as a striker for the Harare Black Rhinos, filmed the suicide video after troubles with his girlfriend, identified as Nomatter.
Nehanda Radio noted that Nhika appeared to be healthy and in good spirits during a visit to the station late last year, but the pastor and popular gospel singer had reportedly been falling into a deep depression that included past suicide attempts.
In an interview with Chronicle Showbiz (via Nehanda Radio), Nhika explained that he was heartbroken over a relationship coming to an abrupt end.
“I don’t understand what happened because I wanted to marry her. I was so heartbroken it took me time to recover from the whole issue,” Nhika told Chronicle Showbiz.
“I nearly committed suicide after that. I drank some poison and luckily I was rushed to hospital. However, the poison damaged some of my organs. A splenectomy was done as a result. I was heartbroken. I was saved by the grace of God as He didn’t let me die. I lived and I live for a higher calling.”
— The Zambian Observer (@ZambianObserver) January 28, 2017
But Nhika made another suicide attempt in 2015 after a fight with family members, a source told the news outlet. The family members were able to overpower Nhika and put a stop to the attempt, the source added.
During the suicide video posted last week, Richard Nhika discussed his relationship troubles before taking his life.
“I will always love you Nomatter, which is why when I saw you I never insulted you or said anything bad,” he told the camera (via Zimbabwe Consolidated News).
“I have decided to die next to this tree so that everyone can see, this is real poison you can even see for yourself. I will always love you Nomatter and thank you for taking away my life,” Nhika said as he drank the poison.
The suicide video posted by Richard Nhika is the latest in a troubling trend of people using live-streaming video to broadcast their final moments to the internet. There have been a string of high-profile suicides in the United States that were posted to the internet, and the trend now appears to be moving across the globe. Late last month, a Brazilian police officer named Douglas de Jesus Vieira took his life during a live-streaming video broadcast.
— The Zimbabwe Mail (@TheZimbabweMail) January 27, 2017
Experts said that the attention surrounding these suicides could be contributing to copycats.
“It just seems so frightening, but a lot of behaviors are modeled,” Dr. Madelyn Gould of the New York State Psychiatric Institute told the Daily Beast of the trend for a spike in suicides after a high-profile case.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and talk with someone either online or by phone. Information on suicide hotlines outside the United States can be found here.
There has also been some controversy among news outlets on how to cover Richard Nhika’s suicide video. While some reports linked directly to the video or included screenshots of his final moments, others have avoided including the video out of respect for the family.
[Featured Image by Mark Makela/Getty Images]