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.
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