Teen Who Hanged Self at Church Pulpit Threatened Suicide But Family Thought it was a Joke

June 12, 2019

A teenage boy who committed suicide in a church at Kiambogo village in Gilgil, Nakuru County had threatened to commit suicide, his family has said.

18-year-old Dennis Ngugi reportedly hanged himself inside Mothaiti Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) on Sunday. A faithful who had gone for prayers before the Sunday service discovered the body dangling on a rope from the roof at the pulpit.

“We were shocked to find a body dangling at the pulpit,” said Beatrice Wanjiku, adding that the church had planned to baptize several members, including Ngugi, who had successfully undergone baptismal classes.

Relatives of the Form Two student at Mothaiti Mixed Secondary School said he went missing on Saturday.

His grandmother Jacinta Wanjiku said Ngugi told them he was going to church at around 4 pm but he never returned. On Sunday morning, as she was looking for Ngugi to milk cows before going to church for the baptism, Jacinta said they heard screams from the church about one kilometre from her home.

Teen’s grandmother Jacinta Wanjiku holding a picture of Dennis Ngugi

“They said they had found a body dangling from the roof of the church, but we did not imagine it would be Ngugi’s. As we continued with the search, some members of the church arrived and broke the news of my grandson’s death. The news is very shocking. I am yet to come to terms with his death,” she said.


The deceased’s aunt, Martha Muthoni, said he saw Ngugi writing on a piece of paper that turned out to be a suicide note.

“I saw him draft something on a piece of paper, but I was not keen on it because I thought it was something to do with his studies. After writing the note, he tore the paper from the exercise book and placed it on the cupboard in the sitting room before he left. I did not know what he was planning until the incident was reported,” recalled Muthoni.

The note, which Muthoni read the following day as they were looking for Ngugi, was titled ‘My Will’.

In the ‘will’, Ngugi indicated he had decided to end his life. He also said he owned a mobile phone, quarter an acre of land and three chicken, which he bequeathed to his uncle.

“He never talked to people about anything that may have been bothering him. However, he had vowed to commit suicide one day.”

“We tried to talk to him when he started to say he would take his life but he never said what was ailing him. Sometimes he would jokingly talk of taking his life, and that is how most of us took it; just a joke. That is why we are shocked that he actually committed suicide,” said Muthoni.

His uncle James Mburu added, “It is unfortunate he never told us why he was planning to commit suicide. We tried to talk to him in vain.”

Gilgil OCPD Emmanuel Opuru said they are probing the incident.

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