The grandmother of 16-year-old boy who committed suicide after playing a horror and crazy game –Blue Whale Challenge has spoken out.
Ms Waithera Njenga said Jamie Njenga who was a form two student at JG Kiereini Secondary School, in Kiambu County had confided to her he benefited from playing the game even though he knew it was a dangerous one and would drive him crazy. She said Jamie used to wake up at midnight to play the game before sleeping two or more hours later.
“He would wake up at midnight to play it and sleep at about 2 am. I did not understand why and how but he told us he got airtime and money from playing it,” she said.
She added she suspects Jamie was recruited into the cult in a city school where he was expelled from last year after he also tried to recruit more students. She added the boy was addicted to the game and would lock himself in a room to play it.
“When he was expelled from the school here, he protested and said he would not survive at the new school. It has been an ongoing process that we did not imagine it would turn fatal,” she said of the only boy of her daughter.
Waithera said they are yet to come to terms of the death and that the boy’s administrator in the game is believed to be a teacher in his former school whose name has been withheld for security and legal reasons. Jamie committed suicide after playing the Blue Whale Challenge-which has 50 challenges where the final challenge is for the player. There are reports that so far, the game has claimed more than 100 lives of teenagers in other parts of the world.
According to reports, when the player signs up for the game, she or he is assigned an administrator who provides them with a daily task to complete for 50 days, of which they must send photographic proof of completion. These tasks are initially simple enough, such as watching a horror movie or waking up at odd times but eventually they are told to inflict harm upon themselves. But on the 50th and final day, they are asked to kill themselves.
In the UK, police have warned parents to watch over their children over the suicide challenge known as Blue Whale after the terrifying online craze emerged, appearing to goad teens into committing suicide.
It is said that the game can reach a young teenager on social media sites if they endorse certain hash tags and get involved in some groups. Other family members of the deceased boy said the game is satanic and revealed he had been exhibiting unusual behavior.
His grandfather John Njenga Wangige, who has a hotel at Nairobi’s Nyamakima area told police the youngster used a rope to hang himself at the balcony of the property. He had earlier on played the crazy game on his Infinix smartphone, which is in the hands of the police.
Before taking his life, the boy even searched online on how he could commit suicide, his cousin who declined to be named told journalists. “After going through his phone history we found out 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 added that prior to taking his life, Jamie had sent out messages to a few friends asking that they remember him and that they meet in heaven.
“He sent text messages to some of his friends asking them to remember him until they meet in Heaven. It shocked us,” added the kin. The boy had come to Nyamakima to visit his grandparents as he headed to school. He was a frequent visitor to his grandparents.
Police and the family said he was headed to school for the second term on the day his body was found hanging at about 3am on Thursday.
Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome said they are still investigating the incident. “This is a new phenomenon but we are pursuing it,” he said.