This morning I woke up to a discussion in one of the Whatsapp groups I am in about another murder that happened last evening. Nshinka Kaputu shot dead his girlfriend Precious Mangesana outside his house in Ibex Hill Meanwood. Their two-year-old daughter was also shot too but survived and is currently in hospital. When such incidents happen, we often know when, what and how it happened, but it is why it happened that is perhaps the most difficult question to answer.
There are a number of theories that emerge as we the unknowing public try to put the pieces together. In order, to find some plausible explanation that will satisfy our conscience, it is easier to find someone or something to blame. We hope that by finding the reason perhaps we can be able to prevent future incidents from happening. However, if the latest trends are anything to go by we are nowhere near to finding the solution.
In this case, there have been three parties that have already shared the blame- the gun, the man and the woman. Why did the man have a gun? If he did not have a gun, then he would not have killed the girlfriend. Any other tool would have made it much tougher for him to execute his plans. The death by a is swift and often people do not survive. Therefore, all those with guns in their households need to reconsider whether it is worth having one.
Then some of the blame has been on the man. Why did he have to make such an irrational decision? Did he think about the repercussions of his action? His girlfriend is dead and the daughter has now been left motherless and potentially an absent father. Friends and family have lost a loved one. Why didn’t he have his emotions in control? The list of questions can go on and on, but until Nshinka tells us what happened in those few minutes and seconds before he pulled the trigger all we can do is speculate. Then there is one thing that most people avoid talking about, what was the mental health situation of Nshinka? Often times we assume that we are a homogenous bunch when it comes to our feelings, emotions and reactions. The truth of the matter is we all react differently to different situations.
The woman. Why didn’t she just walk away? Why did she go there at night? Didn’t she see the signs earlier that she was with an unstable man? She should have known better. The sad reality of all this is that the person who could give us the answers is no longer around. There is the temptation to blame the victim in such situations, the same way we blame the woman for not walking out of an abusive relationship. I have read and heard far too many stories of women staying with a man who pounds them to a pulp. I ask myself, why don’t they just pack their bags and leave? What many of us fail to realise is we over simplify issues of this nature. Walking out of a relationship should be as easy as saying our ABCs. We forget the role that societal pressure plays, sometimes children are involved, the emotional investment, or hope that things would get better. However, one important thing that we forget is that other people are not us. We cannot place our own expectations on them and expect them to behave the way we would when placed in certain situations.
Nshinka is currently in custody, and the police are doing their investigations. We may choose to slice and dissect this incidence in many ways as we attempt to put the pieces of this puzzle together, but we may never arrive at the whole truth. We can come up with valid reasons to blame the gun, man or woman and how all this could have been prevented. We can wish that a similar incidence never happens, but it will. We cannot ignore the state of mind of both Nshinka and Precious at the time that this tragedy took place. It is difficult to attempt to understand what led Nshinka to do what he did, but if we begin to label him as an insane, evil, or a mad person, we should not end there. We should equally go further and ask what led him to that, and how do we help others from reaching that point too.
How do you think we can prevent another incident from happening?