The boy who committed suicide after playing a twisted online game — Blue Whale Challenge — was buried May 13 in Limuru. Jamie Njenga, 16, was buried in a low-keyed ceremony at his grandfather’s farm in Ngaraiga village.
The burial was attended by a few of his friends and close relatives. Listening to tributes from the family and looking at his album, it was hard to comprehend why the young man chose to end his life so tragically.
Three colourful photographs on his burial programme stand out. In one, as an altar-boy, in complete attire, he is seen assisting an archbishop fit his mitre - a ceremonial head-dress of bishops - during celebration of Mass, while in another, he is humbly receiving holy communion.
The third photo shows him during Mass with other altar-boys and a priest. And that was his life - serving in the church faithfully. But that is a total contrast at the manner in which the boy died - brutally killing himself after playing a sick cult-like game.
“The devil has away of putting challenges in our lives and I want to declare that he has failed in his mission,” said a church representative in his message to mourners.
The few speakers fondly remembered Njenga as a God fearing boy. A relative who declined to be named, said Njenga’s mother, a single parent, was in shock when she was told that her son had taken away his life.
“She kept saying that someone had killed her son and that there was no way he could have taken his own life given that he was jolly and full of life,” the relative told Sunday Standard.
The relative said the boy had early this year sought a transfer from Aquinas High School and had been enrolled at Kereini Secondary School.
“He completely hated that school and said to his grandmother that she would never see him if she forced him go back to Aquinas,” she said.
She said it was at that point when the family decided to send him to Kereini where he had studied for a term.
The relative said Njenga was upbeat about going to school the day before he killed himself. He even refused to eat supper that fateful night.
Njenga committed suicide in his grandparents home in Nyamakima, after playing the crazy game where players are engaged in various challenges for 50 days, with suicide being the climax. The game has been banned in Kenya.