When the thirteen-year-old Promise Garandisako was found hanging from a Macadamia tree behind his house, the whole community of Heri Village in Chipinge ward 7 was left in a state of shock, confusion, fear and disappointment.
Promise was found by his fourteen-year-old friend Simau Hlamini, who had come to his house to take him to a local community soccer ground known as “Chikoka shena.”
When Promise’s mother arrived home from working at a neighboring farm and saw her child on the rope, she fainted.
When his siblings arrived home, they thought Promise was cooking as he left a pot of water boiling on the stove.
Promise performed very well at Clearwater Primary School, where he was well known for playing soccer. He was bright and sharp minded. His death posed sadness and trauma to the teachers. His teacher, Ms Patients Mhlanga said “truly good man does not live longer.”
It was said that his father drove Promise to commit suicide.
“Promise was assigned to fetch three buckets of water but instead he fetched two and refused to fetch the last one. The father became furious and insisted he’d fetch the last one too,” said one of his siblings, recalling how his father burdened Promise with many domestic chores.
“Mr Garandisako was seen bolting after his child instructing him to stop, while he was striking him on his back with a catapult,” said Kuda Kunanga, a thirty-one year old neighbor of the family.
“Mr Garandisako warned that he was going to kill any child who would tell people what exactly happened. Afterward, he packed his fishing equipment and went away,” said another neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.
A somber atmosphere enveloped the congregation as they gathered at the graveyard to pay last respects to the academic prodigy. Tears flowed when the casket was lifted from the police vehicle, and carried to the grave.
Women sang many songs, but there was one which stood out and raised many questions. This song, with the lyrics “Kune wakauraya uchaitamba nzerere nzere,” (which can be translated to English as “to the one responsible for the death shall suffer from the avenging spirit”), was repeated throughout the burial service.
“Let us keep our children safe and desist from any means of violence, this is unwelcome, it’s taboo for a young child as little as 13 to commit suicide, let us not be violent to our kids they must feel free when they see their parents let’s grant them, adequate parental love,” said the Village Head Lovemore Semwayo by the graveside, concluding the service.
23 January, 2023