Residents of Mnazi Mrefu village in Kilifi county were yesterday treated to a rare spectacle after a corpse ‘refused’ to be buried. The mourners who had gathered at Kabunda Ngari’s home to pay their last respects were shocked when the coffin bearing her body split into two as it was being lowered into the grave.
Witnesses claimed the bizarre incident was occasioned by the family members’ refusal to honour the deceased’s last wishes of a proper cultural send-off. “The deceased had requested for a night ‘kesha’ where mourners will dance around her coffin throughout the night.
We never understood why her children went against it,” said Kombo Karema, a neighbour. A close relative who sought anonymity also said the children’s refusal to involve the deceased’s twin sister in the funeral arrangements “angered her spirits”.
“Kabunda’s children wanted to ‘punish’ their aunt whom they were not in good terms with after she confronted them for neglecting their mother,” she said. She said after the pastor was done with the funeral service, the deceased’s twin sister had pleaded to be allowed to “see her sister for the last time,” but the family declined.
“That is why her coffin suddenly grew bigger and the villagers had to dig again to expand it,” said Kadenge Fujo, a village elder. However, as the coffin was being lowered into the newly dug grave, it split into two dropping the body into the grave.
“It was evident that the deceased was refusing to be buried,” he said. He said the body had to be taken back to the house where the sister pleaded with the departed to forgive her children and agree to be buried. “Thereafter, the mourners viewed the body and it was peacefully lowered into the grave and buried,” he said. – KNA