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Teen takes own life after ‘unexpected’ exam results

2024-01-16  Festus Hamalwa

Teen takes own life after ‘unexpected’ exam results

ONGWEDIVA - The family of 17-year-old Shatiwa Nghifilenga, who tragically took his own life after allegedly failing his Grade 11 exams, revealed that he had high hopes of passing. 

Ngifilenga died last Thursday at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital following a suicide at his home village of Onanke.

According to his family, he had prior to the exams’ outcome expressed confidence in his results. However, the unexpected outcome left him devastated. 

“He cried. He told us that the results were not his; there must’ve been a mistake. We advised him to calm down, and that he should register to upgrade his points. We promised to pay for his subjects,” his uncle Nestory Nghifilenga told New Era.

The young learner, who attended Olukolo Secondary School in the Oshana region, had spent his holiday working at cuca shops in Onanke village, saving money for his anticipated further education in nursing or mechanics, and often sold polony to fund his academic dreams.

His brother, Ernastus Nghifilenga, discovered him hanging in his room. 

Ernastus told this publication that at around 01h00, he heard disturbing sounds, prompting him to check on his brother. 

“I heard something moving, like someone climbing the roof. I went to his room, and found him already hanging from a rope around his neck,” he said.

A distraught Ernastus added that they quickly cut him down, but he was already unconscious by then. The family was, however, unable to rush him to hospital on time as there was no transport available. 

He was eventually taken to the Omuthiya District State Hospital, and subsequently transferred to the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries in the ICU.

Education executive director Sanet Steenkamp said the incident was shocking to the ministry, especially to his fellow learners. She urged learners who had not obtained the desired results to make use of the platform availed for them to upgrade their results, instead of committing suicide.  

Steenkamp added that parents should also stop comparing their children to others.

Also speaking to this publication was Lina Negonga, a former classmate of Nghifilenga, who said his results were okay, and that “he could easily have upgraded them”.




Caption: Sad end… Shatiwa Nghifilenga took his own life after failing Grade 11. Photo: Contributed

2024-01-16  Festus Hamalwa

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