Friday, 16 November 2012


Unlike back in my village, the people of Rangwe, Homabay; appeared disciplined, organized and culture-sensitive lot during the day we arrived to mourn the father of our fellow comrade sometime last year. It had been a long, tiresome and sombre journey...True, Luos do respect the dead and normally accord them a descend send off, a nd so are many other African Communities. Having subsequently attended a handful of other burial ceremonies of friends and relatives(including that of my late grandfather two months ago) back in my motherland (Mount Elgon), I came to realize the exaggerated extend to which my community has gone in trampling down its culture and esteemed norms. Respect for the dead is no longer a concern and mourning has been since effectively replaced with a celebration that never ends until the deceased has been laid down to rest. People are usually all over the compound. Dozens of bulls are slaughtered; wines and spirits (in our case, Chang’aa & Busaa) are normally in abundance. And so are delicious meals. The relish is eternally awesome, yet grown ups usually fight over left-over’s and wrestle still over Busaa & Chang’aa, day in day out! During the night, young and old, parents and their children usually demand for secular music (after which they dance, wiggle their buttocks and shake their bodies); some drink themselves stupid and engage in sexual activities in the fool glare of the moon and kids will be sired moths later… It is always a battle to flex ones sinful muscles and outwit each other when all they ought to do, is to mourn their beloved and offer them their last respect! It seems in the end that friends and relatives usually come in the hope of confirming whether the deceased is really dead or had just fabricated the whole thing. Others wail bitterly, and then in the darkness, scream that such was a gentle riddance! Others are normally busy distributing the few belongings of the departed amongst themselves, fighting over the same and hell knows what else! After the inevitable send off, life is bound to go on normally. Nobody cares anymore. And they will forget about it and still, yearn for yet another burial ceremony, for yet another night-adventure, for yet another chance to flex their sinful muscles! ©2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora

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