How did Unakho Kewana die? How load shedding caused teenager’s death

unakho kewana death

An Eastern Cape teenager, Unakho Kewana who relied on an oxygen supply supplied by electricity died of lung failure, according to her family. Let’s see how load shedding caused a teenager’s death and Unakho Kewana cause of death in detail.

Who is Unakho Kewana?

Unakho Kewana is reliant on an electricity-powered oxygen supply to stay alive after being diagnosed with dilapidating lungs in 2019. Unakho Kewana is a teenager from Mdantsane, and she suffered from lung damage. She struggled with a very significant medical condition that must require an oxygen tank for breathing support in order to do her everyday activities.

Last month, 18-year-old Unakho Kewana’s struggle touched the hearts of the country when she pleaded for a solar-powered oxygen supply to combat power outages.

She had to drop out of Grade 9 in 2019 due to her failing lungs, crushing her ambitions to become a lawyer. On Friday, her family disclosed that Unakho had been suffering from depression, as per her doctor. Unakho’s family and close friends believe the depression was caused by load shedding since she hated being transported to a hospital for oxygen support every time there was a power outage in her NU13 Mdantsane neighborhood.

How does Load shedding leads to Unakho Kewana’s death?

Long-term lung issues caused Unakho’s death on Wednesday at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital. A few months back, she requested her friends on social media for a solar-powered oxygen apparatus that could save her during load shedding.

Her aunt, Ntombizanele Kwenane said,

“We knew the load shedding schedule and whenever it was close to the scheduled hour for the power to cut off, [she] would panic and start sweating and shaking because so many things could go wrong. She knew that, should she not make it on time to the hospital in NU6, she would take her last breath.”

Kwenane claimed that after the power was restored, Unakho would come home by ambulance or taxi, only for the power to be switched off again a few minutes later.

Kwenane stated, “Unakho and the rest of the family found everything to be too stressful. Her oxygen used too much electricity too, and we would struggle to buy it. Her soul was seriously damaged by the repeated power outages. Midway through October, she stopped eating normally because the problem of power outages was really bothering her.

Unakho’s emotional state had also been impacted by recently witnessing a patient receiving oxygen support die in front of her in a hospital, according to Kwenane. Unakho will be buried next Saturday.

Khula Community Development Project, an NGO that advocates for children’s rights, has called on the government to fix the energy crisis, saying load shedding was destroying lives. Petros Majola, the project’s director, led the charge to secure funding for Unakho to purchase a solar-powered oxygen supply.

He claimed that at the time of Unakho’s passing, a businesswoman in Mthatha and an East London generator company were planning to provide a brand-new generator. Majola said: “The power cuts had a negative impact on Unakho’s emotional well-being because every time the load shedding neared she cried.
Eskom should understand that the implementation of load shedding is causing a lot of damage to lives and livelihoods.” The family is having difficulty burying Ukhona and is asking for help from the public.

Unakho Kewana cause of death:

Unakho Kewana who suffered from serious lung damage was dependent on an oxygen cylinder. She died on Wednesday morning at the hospital in Mdantsane. Unakho Kewana cause of death was lung damage. As per her family, the power cuts had a negative impact on Unakho’s emotional state and she was diagnosed with depression because of the load shedding as she depends on the electricity-operated oxygen machine to survive.

How did people react to it?

Sinobia Van Der Merwe tweeted,

RIP my angle so sad that the government also played a roll in her loosing her last breath with this loadshedding and i hope they can see and feel the pain she felt everytime there is no lights for her to use her oxygen…… this is so sad.

The Rule of Law tweeted,

The ANC government must take responsibility for the death of Unakho Kewana, it’s shocking and highly traumatising to learn of a poor 18yrs old Eastern Cape teenager who died from heart failure due to lack of oxygen as a consequence of loadsheding, shame on u.

Buffalo City Insider tweeted,

A girl from Mdantsane, Unakho Kewana who has always depended on an electric oxygen supply to keep breathing, died on Wednesday morning at the hospital in Mdantsane. On the 8th of April 2022, Unakho Kewana wrote a very sad letter on her Facebook timeline.

Pateka Ntshuntshe-Matshaya tweeted,

Condolences to the family and Rest in eternal Peace, Nana, you’ve inspired everyone to appreciate whatever God bless them,with. Lala ngoxolo

Ndita Joleks commented,

So heartbreaking yo hurt is no more u r with other Angels…God has accepted u as u r no more pain no more worries,u just yourself now


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