A day after Philippines based Zimbabwean filmmaker Violet Avoid reportedly committed suicide by ingesting rat poison, her husband, Tichaona Madzikanda has claimed that his wife is still alive and has only been ill after suffering from a bout of food poisoning.
Avoid has been trending following a story that she had allegedly committed suicide only a day after she celebrated her 33rd birthday.
According to initial reports, Avoid was battling suicidal thoughts after marital problems had seen her thrown out of her matrimonial home by her husband.
Avoid had reportedly been raped at work a few months ago, which had led to the breakdown of her marriage. She was also said to have been pregnant from the rape.
In a video posted on Avoid’s Facebook account, Madzikanda said Avoid was alive and had not committed suicide. Instead, he appeared to suggest that his wife was on life support after a bout of severe food poisoning.
“Violet did not commit suicide, she only took poisoned food. All of this that is coming out about divorce and depression, I don’t know where it’s coming from. All I know is that on social media there are people that want money and attention,” he said.
Madzikanda went on to narrate how Avoid, who had travelled to a remote part of the Asian country, had fallen ill.
“I and my wife make videos. That’s the work that we do. So, my wife appeared going to a province in this country that we are in and I was not able to accompany her.
“What we do is that we look for people to work with when we go somewhere because our budget would be small and we don’t want to stretch it. It’s not hard to find people to work with because people are looking for jobs.
“She had worked for four days out there and that’s when I received a message telling me she was down with food poisoning. The problem is that English is a problem so it took me a while to understand that she is suffering from food poisoning because the people don’t speak English very well.
“I asked how she was and they said she was vomiting and she had been vomiting for a long time. They said she could not speak and was behaving like a person who had passed on. They said they were taking her to hospital,” he said.
Madzikanda said those close to Avoid were the ones that sent as SOS to people on people on her contact list, including journalists, informing them that Avoid had committed suicide.
“I told myself she was alive when I decided to go there. I didn’t tell anyone, whether her parents or relatives. I couldn’t tell them she was dead when I had not seen her. I did not tell anyone anything but I was shocked when I saw the news on social media.
“I never issued any official media statement. People were saying Violet drank rat poison. They said she had died, she had depression, she had problems with her husband, and she was getting a divorce.
“I never spoke to anyone and even now I don’t know who said what on social media. I was just getting calls from relatives telling me all this and asking what is going on. I was under pressure,” he said.
Madzikanda said that the viral video, in which Avoid narrates her rape ordeal, did not paint an accurate picture of her life, as she was only telling another person’s story and not hers.
“I was the one carrying the camera. Why? Because I know the work that we do. She was telling a story as a storyteller. She was speaking about another person’s story,” he said.