A Nigerian comedian, Owen Osamwengie, popularly known as Owen Gee, has opened up about how he contemplated suicide in 2017 after he sunk into depression.
The Lagos-based humour merchant said, “I have had suicidal tendencies.
Last year, I tried several things, but they did not work out. It was not because the ideas were bad, but the people I was working with just didn’t let them work out. Then anxiety and depression set in.
“It was then I realised that no drug could calm depression. There was hardly anyone I didn’t take. There was a time I was sleeping on drugs.
There was a particular yellow tablet that, if I took it on Tuesday, on Wednesday I would only be prompted to barely wake up, eat and go back to sleep even before I finished eating. I would not wake up until Thursday.”
Owen Gee narrated the experience in Lagos during the unveiling of Live and not Die (LAND), an initiative aimed at stemming the tide of suicide in the country.
The comedian shared his real-life experience battling depression, with stakeholders that gathered at the Empowerment Center, Allen Avenue, Ikeja,
The comedian also explained how he eventually came to the reality that he had the responsibility to handle his issues with tact and live to take care of his children.
He advised the guests to shun fake life, which according to him, is the bane of the Nigerian showbiz industry.
The convener of the programme, Kunle Pelemo, encouraged several professionals to share their experiences while experts’ proffered solutions to depression.
According to Mr Pelemo, suicide is so rampant that the World Health Organisation affirmed that it is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
WHO, he added, noted that about a million people committed suicide annually. Mr Pelemo thus believes that it is important to take a conscious and sustained effort to tackle the menace.
“The idea and passion for suicide prevention dawned on me after my intervention helped to prevent a friend and protégé from carrying out the destructive act. At LAND, we realise that there is always a gap between the period of suicide ideation and the act. If we care enough to render support to people prone to suicide, we will achieve a zero-suicide society.”
Mr. Pelemo added that the project would engage people prone to suicide, attempters and survivors. It will offer support ranging from moral, mental, material to psychological.