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Life gave me a second chance through Talk Therapy

My name is Itai, I am a 40-year-old woman. I work hard to earn a living; I am a vendor with a tuckshop. When I came to Friendship Bench, I was at a point in life where I felt like taking my own life, as I was contemplating on taking my own life, a Friendship Bench grandmother Manyati arrived at my house and she started talking to me, I asked myself where this woman had been all along. I shared my story with her, poured my heart out, and she listened and empathized with me.

I was abandoned by my husband after having a stroke. I stayed in the hospital for two weeks and I was referred to Harare for brain examination during that period I was wearing diapers and my husband said that he was not going to stay with a woman in my condition. When the grandmother started talking to me asking me questions about my wellbeing, I told the grandmother that it had only been God that she arrived because I was about to take my life, I am thankful to her. When I was sitting in my dining room I would look at the roof pillars and think of hanging my self there, after the grandmother’s visit I wiped all my tears and reclaimed my life, I no longer have thoughts of taking my life.

People in my community helped me to do physiotherapy, doing exercises taking on step at a time like a little baby. I could not walk at all but now I can walk on my own. Now that my I am fit again, I heard from my husband, he called me and he said he was coming back home, he was embarrassed to come during the day so he arrived around 6 in the evening. All my children and daughters and sons in-law were there present, they encouraged me to really look good and dress nicely. When he came, I asked him who he was and he was surprised to see that I had forgotten about him. We gave him a warm welcome and we cooked nice food, I was not even angry at him the sessions I had with the grandmother helped me to let go of all the anger that I had. After he left, I was still fine and not affected because I had claimed my life already so I carried on with my life as usual. I am proud that I did not leave my children, I work hard and sell things so that I can support my last-born child, I am not affected with my husband’s absence because I can take care of myself and children.

I am thankful to this program, I tell other people about Friendship Bench and invite them to come to this program because it has helped me. I am happy to refer people to Friendship Bench because it saves lives. I no longer think of taking my life, I wish I could actually go on national TV and share my story with everyone, even if my husband comes, I can tell him how this program has helped me through talk therapy only, I was not given money but just having someone to talk to really helped me. If it was possible I would have gone back to school and take a claim of my life. My life was difficult before talking to a grandmother but now things have changed I no longer think too much, if I notice that I am starting to think too much I play gospel songs and start to sing along to the music. My words of encouragement to someone who is thinking too much is that when you are feeling that everything in your life is difficult do not stay alone go out and find others to share your problems with because sitting alone can bring thoughts of taking your own life but sharing with others can help one get solutions.


People need support, with your help we can reach out to more people like Itai. We invite you to:

  • Donate: Your contributions can help us expand our reach and support more families.

  • Spread the word: Help us raise awareness by sharing our story with your friends and family.

Together, we can build stronger, healthier communities and promote collective healing. Contact us to learn more about how you can get involved.


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