Ongeza nyama! How many have turned funerals into a feasting and a show-off place
The practice of venerating the deceased has deeply embedded itself within Kenya, where many individuals go to great lengths to provide a dignified farewell to their departed loved ones.
Experiencing grief is an emotionally taxing period, especially for close family and friends.
However, this grieving season often proves painful, particularly for family members who sense a feigned display of affection from relatives only after the passing of their loved ones.
Many individuals feel deceived, as people inundate them with condolences and assert close connections with the deceased, irrespective of the actual depth of their relationships.
Social media exacerbates this issue, as numerous individuals take to these platforms to share photos with the deceased, recounting their interactions and expressing sorrow.
The unfortunate reality is that many of these individuals never shared genuine closeness with the departed, and some have even lost their lives due to the failure of family and friends to support them with medical expenses.
Regardless of the social status of the deceased, grand funerals are the norm. Some may have perished due to starvation, yet elaborate feasts are prepared for guests who travel from far and wide to attend and bid farewell.
Funerals have become the primary meeting places for relatives, serving as venues for introductions and family reunions.
It’s not uncommon to encounter a long-lost cousin at a funeral, even if they’ve been alive all along and nobody has bothered to check on each other.
The question arises: why do Kenyans hold such deep affection for the departed? Many are swift to organize fundraisers in honor of the deceased.
However, one must ponder whether it’s truly honorable to wait until someone has passed away to contribute and celebrate their life.
Has the culture of empathy and the value of human life dwindled to the extent that people no longer genuinely care for one another?
For the bereaved, the multitude’s well-intentioned gestures can sometimes compound their pain, as they must navigate through a crowd that seems indifferent to their suffering.
Deceased individuals are often dressed in fine attire, and children who were previously neglected suddenly receive attention and care, though it may be accompanied by empty promises from relatives.
Politicians also contribute to this phenomenon by making speeches at funerals, even when they have no personal connection to the deceased. It is crucial for the nation to introspect and reassess its values, not only in terms of paying tribute to the deceased but also in how it cares for the living.