Social media has been buzzing since news of South African rapper Hip Hop Pantsula's death surfaced on Wednesday as tributes from fans, celebs, politicians and fellow musicians flooded newsfeeds.
And while the cause of HHP's —real name Jabulani Tsambo — death has not been revealed, it has sparked a discussion about depression. This comes after multiple reports alleged that the 38-year-old rapper may have taken his own life.
HHP had previously opened up about depression in a 2016 interview with Gareth Cliff on CliffCentral.com, revealing that he attempted suicide thrice in 2015.
During the interview, HHP casually describes one of his attempts in chilling detail. (Starts 35 minutes into the interview)
"I was thinking while my policies are still active‚ let me just go out. Fifteen minutes in the car. Hosepipe‚ whatever. I’m listening to Frank Ocean in the car. I’m thinking 15 minutes, I should be done. An hour and a half later‚ nothing happens. I’m listening to the song on repeat now. I get out of the car. It’s time to take the kids to school. F***ng hell, I'm a loser," he said.
After the failed attempt, he even borrowed a friend’s car. "I’m thinking, maybe because my car is a hybrid… Let me try with an old car. I get a friend of mine’s old car. I take the hosepipe from his car to mine. I try again. It doesn’t work."
Another theory that played out on Twitter is that South African musicians don't live long. One Twitter user listed all the names of musicians who died aged 37 and 38.
Flabba died age 37
Mandoza died age 38
Lundi died age 38
Sfiso Ncwane died age 37
Prokid died age 37
Now HHP. died at age 38?
We just carry on like it's all a coincidence?#RIPHHP
Since his passing, Jabba's — as he was affectionately known — family requested privacy as they mourn. According to reports, HHP will be laid to rest in his hometown Mahikeng.
* If you are feeling suicidal, contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) between 8am and 8pm Monday to Sunday on 011 234 4837.
For a suicide-related emergency, contact Sadag on 0800 567 567 or the 24-hour helpline 0800 12 13 14.