Gay South African reality TV star Inno Matijane has spoken out about battling with depression, especially after his mother died in December.
Matijane, who boasts more than 215,000 followers on Twitter alone, told Daily Sun that his family refused to help him pay for his mother’s funeral expenses, exacerbating his mental health challenges.
“I feel like committing suicide because of the things I’ve been going through even before my mother’s passing,” the 22-year-old said.
Matijane also had to pay for his mother’s medical costs when she became ill, forcing him to sell his car to make ends meet.
“I expected my family to be there for me during this time but they’re not even bothering to check up on me,” he added, revealing that he’s been left struggling financially.
Soon after the article was published, Matijane tweeted: “I’m so stressed and triggered, media, journalists, my friends calling because they’re worried. This is really triggering. The article that is out on most publications right now. I’ll speak on it soon. I’m very good and would love the media to give me privacy please.”
Last month, he shared a troubling video in which he was refused service by a shopkeeper because of his sexuality. “Experiencing homophobia is so painful,” he said at the time.
Matijane is known for appearing in shows such as Moja Love’s popular LGBTIQ-affirming The Way Ngingakhona. He describes himself on his website as a “TV Presenter, Radio Host, Reality TV Star, Artist, Actor, Entrepreneur, Social Media sensation and Business owner.”
A 2016 report compiled by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group found that while roughly 10% of the general South African population suffer from stress, anxiety and depression, this number is much higher for the LGBTIQ community, with 31% to 45% of this group affected by these mental health issues.
If you find yourself in mental distress, please call LifeLine’s 24 Hour Counseling Line on 0861 322 322 or the South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567. Please also consider reaching out to these LGBTIQ organisations.