Most people who exhibit symptoms of insanity are typically diagnosed with some form of mental illness; however, the case of Jeffrey Zimba, a 60-year-old resident of Lusaka’s Chawama compound, defies conventional understanding.
Despite displaying signs of insanity since 2001, Zimba has yet to receive a formal diagnosis, leaving his family confused and in search of answers.
Zimba’s sister, Milika Zimba, vividly recalls the fateful morning when her brother’s unusual behavior first emerged.
“One morning, he started screaming and tearing his clothes out of nowhere. I still remember that day as though it were yesterday,” Milika recounts, her voice tinged with both remorse and concern.
She says that in a state of panic, Zimba was seized and transported to Chainama Mental Hospital, hoping to find answers.
However, much to Milika’s surprise, her brother seemed to revert back to his normal self upon their arrival.
“I was so shocked and just could not believe what was happening,” she admits.
Milika says medical professionals at the hospital conducted a series of thorough examinations on Zimba in their quest for an explanation, but to their surprise, the results concluded that Zimba was mentally sound.
“The doctor declared him sane after the multiple examinations,” Milika shares.
The sister says that for a brief period of two weeks following the examinations, Zimba’s sanity remained intact; however, that was short-lived.
Milika recounts the distressing moment when her brother’s behavior took a turn for the worse.
“After two weeks, he started acting strange again. This time, he was attempting to chew a spoon, and when his wife tried to intervene, he would cry uncontrollably, like a baby,” she narrates, with both sorrow and confusion.
And his cousin, Gideon Tembo says since the incident, Zimba’s mental state has begun to deteriorate further, adding that multiple tests were conducted in hope of uncovering the underlying cause of his perplexing behavior.
However, to the dismay of his family and the medical professionals involved, none of the examinations indicated any signs of insanity.
“We have conducted several tests, but none of them indicate that he is insane. It’s a confusing situation for all of us,” Tembo says.
He calls upon well-wishers, urging them to extend their support and aid her brother in his struggle with an illness that defies explanation. “We need help and understanding. Jeffrey needs our collective support to regain control over his life,” Tembo appeals.
As the search for answers continues, the Zimba family remains steadfast in their determination to uncover the truth behind Jeffrey’s unique struggle, hoping that one day sanity will prevail over the devious grip of his affliction.
In a world where mental health issues are gradually gaining recognition and understanding, the case of Jeffrey Zimba serves as a reminder that some battles defy categorisation.