BY INDIRA MOOSAI
Jamal Nganga was found dead in the Barrymore Hotel by the Tampa Police Department on Nov. 30 (TPD.) On Dec. 1 an autopsy was conducted, and his cause of death was ruled as suicide by hanging.
A GoFundMe called “Ball For Mal” has been started by Jake Unger in honor of Jamal Nganga. Its goal is to “raise awareness for suicide prevention.” They will be hosting a school-wide basketball game including “3 vs. 3 games, a 3 pt. Contest, and Knockout.” In addition, participants will be able to win gift baskets, so people can donate items to a basket if they cannot donate money. This will be held on Apr. 26 at UT’s Fitness Center Basketball Courts.
A few of his close friends and family respond:
Igor Radwanski, president of Sigma Chi, junior finance major:
“The day he passed was by far one of the most heartbreaking and toughest moments we’ve all had to experience. We did not want to believe the rumors, considering it impossible for something so tragic to occur to the most admirable friend we have.”
“In a word, Jamal was the absolute man. Incredibly kind hearted, generous in spirit, would always put a smile on your face and constantly had a genuine interest in how everyone was doing. Jamal was by far the most positive and loving person I know, cared sincerely about his friends, loved his fraternity and UT.”
“Every friendly moment spent with Jamal was a memorable one; that’s how incredibly special and fun being in his company was. Whether it be from shooting hoops on the basketball court or his signature on-campus activity, ‘booling’ in the courtyard!”
“Jamal’s character has influenced more people in the short 20 years he was alive, than some people get to influence throughout an entire lifetime. This is how incredibly special Jamal was and will always be to his friends and Brothers.”
Lindsay Nathanson, junior history major:
“The last time I saw Jamal was late at night when I saw him walking home from school so I drove him back to the Hojo. He told me I was such a good friend and good person to stop on the side of the road for him. He never asked for anything, but he gave us all so much.”
“Jamal was a big Philly sports fan, like myself, and loved Philly, as we shared the same favorite rapper, Meek Mill. Any time we were in the same room and heard a Meek song come on, we’d start singing it together at the top of our lungs like crazy people, but it was the best feeling ever.”
“I first met Jamal through an older sister in my sorority, Delta Gamma. He was pledging Sigma Chi at the same time I was going through my new member process for DG, so we already had something in common. Jamal was praised by all the older brothers in the fraternity early on, he was the easiest guy to get along with.”
“Jamal was one of those people who never had one bad thing to say about anyone. He had such a pleasant energy to be around and you couldn’t help but smile the minute you saw him. He radiated positivity and was an extremely loyal and caring friend.”
Ebla Ibrahim, his mother:
“He loved music. He didn’t play an instrument but he enjoyed music.”
“Very lively kid, loved partying, very helpful. He helped with all of your issues and problems. He was the go to person to talk to because he would listen.”
“He was very sociable. He seemed very happy, and he was very sensitive. Not many people knew that.”
“His whole life was a special time, we would always go every weekend for a basketball tournament in different states. He would look up at me with that smile when he scored 3 points.”
“Very light, very loved.”
“He was loved by the ladies.”
“He cared about his looks, his appearance and how he presents himself.”
“He will be missed.”
Indira Moosai can be reached at email@example.com.