TRAIN SURFING CLAIMS LIVES OF TEENAGERS
By: Sibusiso Zindela
Almost in every country there’s been reports of teenage deaths due to what started off as a game or competition between friends and then turned into tragedy.
In uMlazi Township, there have been several reports of teenage deaths due to this dangerous game called “train surfing”.
Train surfing is a race where an individual runs on the roof of the train, starting from the tail to the head of the train to touch a train’s number.
To win you must be ahead of your friends. It is dangerous because, a train uses electricity and the wires are placed on the train roof.
In 2013, a 16-year-old Msizi Nzama, made headlines after he was electrocuted and killed playing train surfing with his fellow scholars in uMlazi’s Lindokuhle train station.
“Msizi was a respectful child and he never got involved in any mischiefs, even his friends looked like good kids. We were shocked when we heard he was involved in train surfing,”
said Msizi’s grandmother, Peslina Nzama.
“We heard from neighbours that our son was involved in this madness.
We told him to stop or he was going to die, he told us he stopped, but that was a lie,” added Nzama.
According to Lindokuhle’s Head of Security, Justice Nyawose, he has seen more than ten teenagers dying due to this game.
“To these kids it just a competition and impressing the boys.
They don’t realize the dangers this game really entails. Unfortunately some of them die or get really injured.
I know this one boy who lost his whole arm after being electrocuted,” said Nyawose.
According to Nzama, Msizi had stopped train surfing. On the day that he died, Msizi had just came from his friend’s funeral who also was electrocuted whilst train surfing.
“This was a way of saying goodbye to his friend. Doing what they normally did when they were together. It seems like fate had the same ending for both these kids,” explained Nzama.
Sanele Makhathini (17) said that he used to take part in the game but quitted after he saw how dangerous the game really is.
“I started playing in 2012. It was really popular that year and many of my friends used to do it and I thought I should also try it.
Nobody forced me to do it, but I wanted to be part of the popular kids. Some of my friends got hurt but luckily none of them died.
I decided to stop before thing got really bad, because some kids I knew died.”
According to another guard at the station, Bheka Vova, if these kids are caught they call thePolice but they never get arrested because they under age.
“The only thing we can do is call the police, we don’t get involved in the cases, but the police also can’t do anything because these kids are under age,” said Vova.