A 16-year-old boy committed suicide in their house in Kamukunji, Nairobi, after playing an online game that encourages one to take his or her life.
Jamie Njenga, a Form Two student at JG Kiereini Secondary School in Kiambu County, had on Thursday played the online game Blue Whale Challenge.
It has 50 challenges and the player is considered the winner when he or she goes through the last challenge, which requires the person to commit suicide.
There are reports that so far, the game has claimed more than 100 lives of teenagers across the world.
According to reports, when a player signs up for the game, they are assigned an administrator who provides them with a daily task to complete for 50 days. They are require to send photographic proof of each completed task.
These tasks are initially simple enough, such as watching a horror movie or waking up at odd hours but these eventually require the player to inflict harm upon themselves.
Jamie’s grandfather, John Njenga, who has a hotel in Nyamakima, Nairobi, told the police the youngster used a rope to hang himself on the balcony of the property.
He had earlier on played the crazy game on his smartphone, which is now with the police.
Before taking his life, the boy even searched online on how to commit suicide, his cousin, who declined to be named, told journalists.
“After going through his phone history we found that he had ‘Googled’ how to tie a rope for committing suicide,” said the cousin who was surprised the internet can assist one to commit suicide.
The shocked cousin, who is Njenga’s age mate, also said that prior to taking his life, Jamie had sent out messages to a few friends asking them to remember him and that they would meet in heaven.
The boy, who was his mother’s only child, lived in Namanga and had come to Nyamakima to visit his grand-parents as he prepared to go back to school.
His body was found at about 3am on Thursday.
“When police were called to the scene, they found the body hanging on a rope on the balcony of the family house. There was no suicide note but we were informed that he was influenced by some online game. The body was then taken to the mortuary,” said Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome.
Koome said they were, however, still investigating to establish if indeed the boy committed suicide.
“This is a new thing that calls for parents to keep abreast with their children’s online activities,” he said.
In Russia, police are said to be probing a number of suicides, which they fear are linked to the online craze. Reports there indicate that between November 2015 to April 2016, there were 130 teen suicides.
The Kamukunji incident came days after a Safaricom’s security manager’s son committed suicide in their house in Lavington, Nairobi.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing.
Meanwhile, police are investigating an matter in which a Chinese man committed suicide in his hotel room in Kilimani, Nairobi. Zou Xiao Qiang used charcoal to kill himself in his bathroom after leaving a suicide note saying he had gone to his god.
Police say the body was discovered after hotel managers went to wake him up and found him dead in the toilet with a charcoal burner next to him. The body was moved to the mortuary.
And a 60-year-old man and caretaker of Ukulima Building died after falling from the 11th floor of the building.
It is not clear if the man was pushed down or he slipped in the Thursday incident. Investigations have been launched into the matter.