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I almost took my own life 20 years ago, Chiume reveals at Gomora actor Siyabonga memorial

Veteran actor Connie Chiume. File picture
Veteran actor Connie Chiume. File picture
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Seasoned TV actor Connie Chiume has revealed that she almost took her own life  20 years ago.

She was speaking at Gomora star Siyabonga Zubane's memorial service held at the Joburg Theatre on Thursday afternoon. Zubane, who portrayed the role of Sdumo in Gomora, apparently committed suicide last week.  

 Chiume said she almost committed suicide after her daughter died while she was feeding her. After the incident, Chiume said she was suicidal and even people around her were not aware of her thoughts. 

In a very emotional service where people broke down constantly, Chiume said a demonic spirit that had taken over her body wanted her to commit suicide. She said through prayer she conquered the demonic thoughts. 

"It's so difficult to stand here and speak about a young talent and young creative like Siya. A child that we were still looking forward to see where he is going. We are hurt by his departure. I understand what his parents are going through because I almost took my own life.

"I normally work with a young talent and watch them growing. And Siya was one of them. I love these kids because they teach me a lot because I never went to school for acting.

"I'm asking myself, who do we hand the baton over to when our kids are dying like this? Let's not pretend that things are fine, there is a problem within our youth, not only in the arts and creative sector but youth in general is affected."

"There is a demonic spirit going around targeting our youth."

Chiume called on religious leaders and the country at large to intervene because something was wrong with the spiritual world. 

Colleague Ntandazo Naye said: "This young man was my brother and my friend. We were close at work and off work. A week ago, Siyabonga had a party at his place and he wanted me to be there. I was there not knowing he will be gone a week later."

Lulu Hela, from Seriti Productions which produces Gomora, said: "To know Siyabonga was to love Siyabonga. It is strange to speak about him in past tense. I met him in 2019 while doing auditions for Gomora.

"Initially, the Sdumo role was written for three episodes but it was extended because of his energy.  It breaks our hearts that he is now gone. Siya was talented and loved acting whole-heartedly."

Different music groups performed at the memorial service that was well attended. 

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