"We gave the boy a spelling exercise, but he failed to spell the words correctly. We encouraged him that he would master spelling the words with more practice."
MAYUGE - After failing an English spelling exercise at home, 13-year-old Kenneth Were promised his grandfather he would improve the next time. But hours later, he would be found hanging from a nearby tree - dead.
Was it a feeling of a sense of humiliation that led the Primary Four pupil of Kaluba Primary School to take his life?
Did he feel disappointed for coming up short on spelling a few words in English?
Most likely, says John Were, his grandfather.
"We gave the boy a spelling exercise, but he failed to spell the words correctly. We encouraged him that he would master spelling the words with more practice," Were recounted, making sure to add that they did not cane or abuse the teenage boy for failing the test.
Instead, Kenneth's grandparents offered consolation.
“At first, he felt humiliated before us, but his grandmother consoled him. He promised to improve," Were said.
After the exercise, Kenneth went about his routine house chores, before reportedly disappearing into the night.
He would not return alive.
“He disappeared at night and in the morning, his body was found hanging down a tree nearby," Were's voice crackled. He is certain his grandson felt the weight of disappointment hang heavy on him after failing to impress at the spelling exercise.
Mayuge district officer in charge of criminal investigations Abdul Nasser Mulimira said the incident happened Wednesday night in Busakira D village in Busakira sub-county.
The boy's death has shaken residents, some of whom have called for thorough investigations into the case.
Meanwhile, Police took Kenneth's body to Mayuge Health Centre III for a postmortem examination, before later handing it to the family for burial.