Police in Nairobi County are investigating claims that a teenager committed suicide in Nyamakima, Kamukunji, after playing an online game that dares players to commit suicide.
The family of Jamie Njenga, 16, popularly known as Jamie Giggz, told the police that the Form Two student at Kirieini Secondary School in Kiambu County hanged himself on the balcony of a hotel owned by his grandfather in the city centre.
The body of the teenager, which had a rope tied around the neck, was retrieved from the scene at 5pm on Friday.
NO SUICIDE NOTE
And even though the teenager left no suicide note and did not tell anyone about his intention, his cousin, his agemate, whom we cannot name for legal purposes, said Jamie had been playing a game called Blue Whale Challenge the previous day.
Police said they were not aware of the circumstances that pushed the teenager into taking his own life.
Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome confirmed the incident.
“I will confirm the claims with the OCPD but, at the moment, the suicide is still under investigations,” Mr Koome said.
The incident was reported at Kamukunji Police Station by Jamie’s grandfather Njenga Wangige, who said the teenager hanged himself by tying the rope around a bannister on the balcony of Precious Hotel.
On Monday, Mr Wangige could not be reached on phone but his wife said their lawyers were working with the police and were handling the case.
The Nation has not independently ascertained if the teenager was, indeed, playing the Blue Whale Challenge, a game that has scared parents across the world as it entices players into harming their bodies gradually until they eventually gather the courage to commit suicide.
Teenagers are required to create an account and give details about themselves. They are then assigned an administrator, who gives them a task to perform daily.
As part of the game, which is played in levels, the teenagers must prove that they actually did the previous task by sending pictures and videos to the administrator.
The tasks become more sinister with every rising level. They range from using a knife or razor to make a shape on their wrist or legs and other parts of their bodies to slicing flesh out.
CUT THEIR WRISTS
A quick check through online videos shows teenagers using blades to cut their wrists.
Before performing the ultimate task — suicide — the teens must take pictures and send them to a death group on social media and say their “goodbyes”.
Across the globe, there are reportedly more than 1,000 cases of teen suicides which have been linked to the game.