For weeks, I prayed for death
Body-shaming and self-hate drove Ntombifuthi to attempt committing suicide from the age of 14. Her school mates always teased her about being overweight and that made her hate herself.
"I was a plump child and I was always teased at school because of my weight. I had low self-esteem and I didn’t see anything beautiful about myself. I always thought that only skinny people were beautiful.
I blew everything up out of proportion. I even took simple jokes personally. I gradually sank into a depression and that's when I started thinking about suicide. I thought my family wouldn’t care even if I died because I felt unloved by everyone," she said.
Ntombifuthi heard about the Universal Church that had opened its doors in her neighbourhood.
"I only went to the church because people told me that I was going to die if I attended services there. I believed those false rumours and for weeks I prayed for death. I was disappointed each morning I woke up because I hoped to die in my sleep. One afternoon I took my tunic belt and wanted to hang myself but I wasn't brave enough to go through with it. As I continued coming to the church and listening to different preaching, I realised that suicidal thoughts were evil thoughts meant to destroy my life.
It dawned on me that I had given power to the evil spirits instead of God’s Holy Spirit. I was encouraged to accept and love myself the way I am.
The suicidal thoughts ended because I had grown to love myself and my body. Understanding that God loves me as I am and that He has good plans for my life helped me have a positive outlook on life. I no longer define myself by what people think or say about me, but by what the word of God says," she said.