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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Of a dead body in the bus and hypocritical Kenyans

Humans are by nature pretty hypocritical but what really pisses me off is how Kenyans prefer to go to great lengths to help and please a dead person they ignored when they were alive.

When they are alive you cannot spare the 20 bob they so desperately beg for, claiming that you don’t have it. But if they fall dead that very day, you will spend Kshs 200 on flowers for his grave without thinking about it and make time to go to his funeral. Why? Where would your money and time have been more useful? I would rather do everything I can for somebody when they are still alive and even skip their funeral altogether. That will be much more appreciated.
Now that I have gotten that off my chest let me get on with my story today which is about a dead Kenyan body.

There are some communities in our beloved country (which shall remain nameless) that would never hear of burying a tribes mate in the city. No matter how poor his friends are they will do everything in their power to transport the body “back home”. Does it really matter where a body is buried once somebody is dead? You might as well throw it in the forest or dispose of it in the most environment-friendly manner. But alas, just one more of those hypocritical things we do as humans, deep respect for dead bodies and all. Huge expense for the gold casket, big budget for a funeral and for what?

And so this chap from that nameless tribe stayed in the mortuary for many weeks as those responsible ran all over the place looking for funds to transport the body. They tried everything to get their hands on enough cash. They failed and so they racked their brains trying to get a solution to ensure that marehemu reached home all the way from Nairobi where they had passed on.

The measly funds collected were barely enough to cover the mortuary expenses and what remained was used to hire the services of an expert on dead bodies who used the right kind of chemicals, perfumes on the body so that it could be transported in a bus amongst the living without anybody realizing what was going on. The dead man was helped into the late bus bound for the Western parts of the country by three friends who told the driver that he was very sick. Only one friend traveled with the “sick man” and the other two alighted. Of course the dead man wore a hat and virtually had every part of their body well covered.

It looked like an ingenious yet bizarre method of transporting a dead body and indeed everything went according to plan until the bus reached somewhere close to Naivasha. The man “escorting” the body must have been very exhausted (or maybe the fumes from the chemicals used on the body made him pass out) and had fallen asleep and so as the bus applied emergency brakes the dead body jumped up all over the place and ended up on the floor of the bus. The ice cold dead body must have touched somebody because the scream which followed caused the lights in the bus to be switched on and behold, everybody saw that it was a dead body. A dead body traveling with the living.

The bus was driven to the nearest police station where the body and its’ escort disembarked and the bus with the source of this story continued on their journey. And so they never found out what happened after that. Those were the days when daily newspapers were run by conservative editors who had little time or interest to follow up on such a story when there was allegedly more juicy stuff on the political front like some illiterate politician who was fond of handing over envelopes with cash to the press saying that one did not need to go to school to rule Kenyans. There was only one TV station then, KBC and you would be sure that such a story would never be “approved” for airing. This thing happened sometime in the 90s.

Kenya police forget what happens to dead body that clearly shows evidence of what they did

Many, many dead bodies: The still untold story of the Mathare killing fields

Prime Beach plots for sale at the Kenyan Coast


Anonymous said...

A Fairly tale? Or is it the story of things that happened long ago? Anyway some Kenyans hypocrisy is simply stunning. They would rather help fundraise for some rich buddy to do the so-called ‘colourful wedding’ than help a poor/hungry fellow meet medical expenses.

Anonymous said...

Chris Karibu sana. We all missed you kabisa. There are more scandals in Kenya and indeed the world over of people stuffing illicit drugs like cocaine inside dead bodies but that's a story for another another day.

Now Bwana Christopher, there's no doubt that you are a very good detective who has lots of credible sources on the ground and you also likes verifying facts before publishing here.

On that note Bwana Kumekucha, can you please unearth all the faces behind the new multi-billion TATU CITY which will be located in Kiambu County?

Who are the powerful people who want to relocate Nairobi to Kiambu and why? How comes it's happening now just 2 years before the elections? Why are the powerful directors remaining so anonymous? Why is their file missing at the registrar of companies office? Why was Raila left for 1 hr when everyone else had left marvelling at the grand plans of the new project?

Anonymous said...

This is why we missed Chris so much. Totally unexpected post. You never know what he is going to post next but you can always be sure that it will be a captivating read totally worth your time.

Kudos bro welcome back and keep it up coz we will keep reading.

Anonymous said...

Now this is when i know Chris amerudi-man u always have some thing to make me visist kk-keep it up and welcome back.
I also suggest that you team up with Mwarangethe and moderate on articles that are consumable by all.

Anonymous said...

What is the moral of the story?

Mzee wa kijiji

Anonymous said...

Aii, aren't there more juicy things to talk about bwana Chris? this one:

.....Ruto's second fraud case to start

Anonymous said...

Who is it that once said, "funerals rites, burial rituals are strictly done for the living and not for the dead"?

People in general never cease to amaze when it comes to attending funerals. Unfortunately, the 'show-and-tell' gatherings of 'who-was-who' to the deceased will always be the modus operandi.

Does it really matter where a body is buried once somebody is dead?

The jury will remain out on the funeral issue until such a time a panel of funeral judges can come up with a verdict.

BTW, it is so hard to dictate to friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, one time associates and sworn (perceived) enemies, the manner in which they need to express their sympathy and last respects.
I might be tempted to register a Cremation Society of East Africa as well as open up the state of the art crematorium facilities in Kampala, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and Kigali, if urbanites (Africans) don't give up the idea of shipping human cargo back to the villages.

It may turn out to be the only recession proof business for a long time to come.
Anon: 2:59 AM
Don't worry yourself to an early death. Nairobi is not going to be relocated to Kiambu County, and it never will.

So, don't ask, Why TATU City in Kiambu County? But ask, Why not a TATU City in every county of Kenya by 2020?

The so called "powerful people" - native sons and daughters -should be able to replicate monied metropolis like future TATU (Tethu lol!) City in all of the other provinces, or soon to be counties around the country.

Garissa "City" is slowly rising in the sunny region of north eastern Kenya, why not follow suit?
One more note on funerals and burials:
Should friends desire, contributions - such as planting a tree or two - may be made at their own convenience. (In lieu of flowers).

Muru wa Gacii.

Anonymous said...

Kumekuchans, I don't intend to pull you away from the topic of Dio de los Muertos, but I would like to find out whether Kenya will ever experience the presidential leadership of politicians like Dilma Rousseff, anytime time soon, be it in 2012 or 2017?

That's if the current Brazilian political scenario (blessing in disguise) repeats itself within Kenyan political circles.

Ms Rousseff, 62, was little known to her compatriots until President Lula selected her as his favoured successor after a number of high profile candidates were forced out by corruption scandals during his time in office.

Let's say Raila, Ruto, Saitoti, Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Uhuru, Kimunya and many others end up being disqualified due to - Constitution 2010 - various corruption scandals that have surfaced at one time or another.

How many dead political careers will Kenyans find hidden in the parliamentary bus heading toward Election Highway 2012 and 2017?

Muru wa Gacii

Anonymous said...

"Funerals rites, burial rituals are strictly done for the living and not for the dead"?

I have heard this said many times, but will somebody please explain to me how all that showing off and tears and flowers benefits the living? Does it help them feel better despite the death or what?

Muru wa Gacii, I found this comment by you extremely thought-provoking;

I might be tempted to register a Cremation Society of East Africa as well as open up the state of the art crematorium facilities in Kampala, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and Kigali, if urbanites (Africans) don't give up the idea of shipping human cargo back to the villages.

It may turn out to be the only recession proof business for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you want to retry and change the law of SM Otieno, Burial. The case was a test case and landmark ruling, “ between customary” and traditional law in one hand and “ the common English law.” The court was not persuaded by Wambui Otieno's lawyer (Kahaminwa), argument that it is her right based on Christian marriage to decide where she will bury her husband. The gist of their argument was that they “ had adopted a Western life style and found most traditional practices primitive." However, the husband’s clan argued that the luo tradition required them to act on behalf of the deceased, and could be “eternally cursed” if they do not bury them in his ancestral home. In giving the ruling, High Court Judge Justice Bosire, ruled that they were persuaded that “there is nothing in the Luo customary law which a reasonable man in Kenya would find repugnant to justice or morality." This is still good law.

I dont see the reason for all this hullabaloo.In our culture it is we, "I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am. This is a cardinal point in the understanding of the African view of man. If you want to leave your dead on the road side fine, but do not criticize those who take time to offer them a decent and appropriate burial.

We are different tribes with different cultures. Looks like you have hangups from your tribe who used to migrate and abandon their homes with a very sick relative so that they don't see them dead.
I come from one that happens to believe it is worth celebrating ones legacy.

Otherwise you are a product of Colonialism. It “created a pool of elites,” basically ignorant to their tradition and trained to think and behave the western way. The elites are act as a link “between the corporate driven north and the debt ridden south.”

It is important to view other culture through the lenses of cultural relativism. This means you do not start from a point of view where you take your culture as the norm and starting point. Since it is through socialization that norms, values and beliefs are being implanted not only to the young members but also to the adult members of a society, it is very easy to develop ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism being the opposite of relativism it is “the belief that one's own culture is superior to that of other cultures. It is a form of reductionism that reduces the "other way" of life to a distorted version of one's own.”

Many people, especially the relatively learned …acquaint culture with dance, queer beliefs, rituals, witchcraft, traditional beliefs and such practices they may consider archaic. They look at such culture as detrimental to development. To many anything that is odd, strange or queer is labeled culture. If it is old it is culture, if it is new, it is a new culture. Whether they are ignorant of what culture is, such ignorance has no defense in the eye of the law. It is just a hangover of colonial mentality of the African ways of life called primitive African culture; to European one was called "modern system", "modern way of life", "modern living"…. Anthropology as a discipline that studies culture was labeled "a science study primitive societies and their culture"…. Many functions of culture still form the basis for social control mechanisms even though law and order are being reinforced by the modern institution.

However it is typical for those People “from another cultural contexts, who do not understand the commitment value, or who do not value the access rights, afforded by cultural obedience, are likely to characterize the strategic situation they face.”

Anonymous said...

What became of the widely held belief in Kenya that August is a jinxed month?

How many prominent Kenyans died in August of 2010?

And how ordinary Kenyans died in mysterious circumstances during the same, August, 2010?

What about the number of dead Kenyans shipped back home from the diaspora?

Did the month of August take its toll on those less fortunate due to health, road accidents, sudden death, homicide, suicide, or natural causes?

Is the month of August really jinxed as some would like us to believe?

Death where was thy sting in August of 2010?

Anonymous said...

The old constitution died on August 4th & was burried August 27th. May Old Kenya Rot In Peace.

Anonymous said...

Where are the stats for August 1988, August 1998, and August 2008?

Never mind! Well, maybe those who are lucky to be alive will have to wait for 2018 in order to assess the effects the jinx will have had on some of the current politicians and Kenyan population in general.

lol! That's a new one, "rot in peace."

Anonymous said...

Mzee wa Kijiji,

The moral of the story is, let's relearn to value people more while they are still alive rather wait to put a high premium on their 'remains' after they have died.

Give me a glass of water, cup of tea, flowers, plate of ugali, tray of wali, chicken, goat, bull, last dance, praises, brotherly/sisterly concerns, prayers while I am still well and alive. Don't wait until I am gone.

Case in point, do remember some individuals, particularly those people you once thought that you knew very well?

The very ones who no longer bother to visit, call, write, e-mail, text, twit, send you seasonal greetings, or just come by your residence unannounced as they used to in years past?

But they will not fail to wait for a minute or set aside their precious time before thay can begin to spend days bombarding you with messages, or letting out 'thousands of hollers' when a sibling, parent, cousin, spouse, friend, relative or an acquaintance has died.

With all due respect to those who always have good intentions during such moments, there those who have perfected the art of "over socializing at funeral gatherings" without any regard or concern, whatsover, for the bereaved.

Talking of individuals who love to use funerals as a venue for social gatherings and worse, for reunions with long lost strangers they have not seen in decades.

Some of them love to put their worst foot forward at funeral venues. They turn then into hunting grounds galore.

Watch out for them the next time around.

BTW, is that guy in the Kumekucha caption a drunk or a dead body?

If he is already dead, then social vultures in that neck of the woods must be very patient birds, because his nike shoes are still covering his cold feet.

Muru wa Gacii

Philip said...


Tanzanian poll results delayed.

Slight chaos erupts....

Afterall you were right about Tanzania!

Chris said...


Let's pray that the violence does not spread. All indications are that the race is much tighter than anybody had anticipated and it looks like JK will be forced to do a Kibaki to stay in power. The voter registration of half the population is very suspect indeed.


Taabu said...

Why did you CURSE our brothers from Tz? Kwani you have become a seer nini? If the violence in Tz continues, you will be held individually and severally responsible. Incumbents don't steal, they only reorder the numbers African style. And the whole probelm is Rao's, LOL.

Anonymous said...

TJRC chair Bethwel Kiplagat steps aside to allow probe into his suitability.

Swali: Kwani is it genetic/tribal for some to be dragged in mud as they stay put till the heat becomes unbearable. Ruto was right, Raila is to blame for all these.

Anonymous said...

Comes a time that one has to refuse to answer to his leader if he also answer to his conscious."Assuming he has one. Kiplagat was silent when they plot to kill Ouko and when the they killed during the Wagalla massacre. How close do you have to be to power to take responsibility; do you have to be the president? At times the silence of our friends hurt more than the words of our enemies. Now who does he want to give him information. Waiting until sunset of his life and retire to prove himself, it is too late.
Duncan Ojwang

Anonymous said...


Are you really trying so hard to do a Jeremiah on the people of the Republic of Tanzania?

GADO disagrees with your potential prophecies of doom by giving the world a glimmer of hope to those who are bent on thinking otherwise (worst case scenario).

[... It's a bit of anti-climax, really. No mass protests, no violence, nobody killed ...] ~ journalist cartoon by GADO

I am not trying to be a promotor-CCM nor an advocatus-CHADEMA, but so far, I will have to wait for the results from all the 239 constituencies to be announced.

CHADEMA seems to be giving CCM a ran for its money, however, I will go on record to state that their main man Willibrod Slaa will not be the next president of the Republic of Tanzania.

NOT in 2010 and NOT in 2015.

Maybe a new face or fresh voice will manage to earn CHADEMA the presidency in 2015, but in 2010 as long as Willibrod Slaa is president.

Don't take it personal because those are just my personal views.

And btw, there is a CHADEMA bigwig (name withheld) who has hoodwinked Tanzanians for far too long. In the same way some CCM's bigwigs used to do during the days of Mwalimu Nyerere.

This is an individual whose children - six of them - have attended some of the best private elementary/high schools and top colleges in the United States.

Yet his home village and region have some of thee worst schools in the third world.

Muru wa Gacii.

Philip said...

Hi Muru wa Gacii

I had read this in the link below:

And the next thing that came into my mind is, what is happening?! Coz I never expected even slight chaos from Tanzanians.

So let me hope that the story was all lies.

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