Depression…the dark side of showbiz

For many celebrities, dealing with depression becomes that much harder in the public eye.

With the recent suicide of rising star and House singer Nichume Siwundla, the illness has been in the spotlight, with many people highlighting the difficulty of living with it.

Last month, Nichume wasn’t so celebratory as she thanked friends, fans and family for her birthday messages. A month later she was dead.

It came as a shock, especially to her family. The 27-year-old was rising in her career, featuring in chart-topping hits like Bhutiza, Daydreaming and Far Away alongside her record label boss Mobi Dixon.

Family members expressed their shock, adding that they still had many questions and referring to her as one of the strongest characters in their family.

Her death follows those of motswako rapper Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo, actress Shoki Mokgapa and Motsweding FM’s DJ Lara Kruger, who committed suicide last year.

SA Depression and Anxiety Group spokesperson Nkini Phasha said there was a link between depression and the entertainment industry.

“The perception is that the entertainment industry is the glitz and glamour industry that comes with fame and fortune. But when the lights go off it can be very lonely and sad for many entertainers,” he said.

A memorial service for Nichume was to be held at the Assemblies of God Church in Sandton at 6pm on Wednesday.

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