Sunday, 8 March 2009

Irony of huge funeral rituals

From IPPmedia, Dar es Salaam
By Staff Writer

When James Apiyo (not his real name) was admitted to Sekou Toure Hospital in Mwanza City last year, his family and relatives said they could not raise $30 needed to pay for his medical bill. And unfortunately he died six months later, at the age of 65 years.

Ironically preparations for a showoff funeral started as soon as news of the death reached his family.

Within 24 hours, a total of 2.5m/- had been raised, 10 per cent of which was set aside for a modest coffin; the rest was spent on special uniforms for the burial ceremony.

At least a thousand people attended the funeral marked by much singing and dancing. "One day the family is unable to raise 30,000/- to treat my father, and next day they can get millions for the burial ceremony…this is not fair," complained Miriam Achieng, the second born in the family of the late Apiyo, who lived at Kitangiri in Mwanza.

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