I hardly attend functions including weddings, burials, parties etc.
Recently a friend not dragged me to attend a funeral ceremony with her of a neighbor who lost her young daughter.
Oh God, the whole compound was carpeted, everywhere was glittering with nice decorations all over. I estimated the millions on those branding and decorations.
We were led to one of the tents, DJ was blasting hip-hop 🎶🎵 and a rapper was entertaining the supposed condolence visitors. I was confused about where I was, party or funeral? My friend said, it's the trending thing. It was my first experience, feel free to laugh at mgbii.
On our way out, I peeped into another tent and discovered a different DJ with an entertainer was there too, blasting.
There were about 5 Asoebi groups. And all were displaying fashion and having merriment over the late lady who died, aged 39years. Expensive drinks and all kinds of Sumptuous meals were available. So many costly souvenirs were shared.
I was privileged to have witnessed how funerals are done these days and that made me understand why burial committees are quickly formed in various WhatsApp groups when one is bereaved.
Chiamaka and John of the same parents lost their younger brother. The siblings separately started raising funds for 'entertainment'. Chiamaka formed her own burial committee likewise John and both added me on their different WhatsApp groups for the same funeral.
While in the US last December, a Nigerian man lost his younger brother who was based in Nigeria. He used the opportunity to add all the contacts on his phone to form a burial fundraising committee. As that was not enough, he kept calling and begging friends to donate to him because he has lost a brother. Meanwhile, he has no plans to travel for the funeral or send the money home, rather used it to relocate to another state in the US.
When my friend in Ibadan lost his mum, he came to me to help him raise funds. I told him to use the little he has and burial the mum decently. He said no, his mum was everything to him, hence he must give him a 'befitting' funeral.
Weeks after the burial, he told me that he is looking for money to start his business as he has used everything for the funeral.
My friend from Nigeria, Solomon died in China and I went to visit the wife to condole with her. I asked if Solomon would be buried in China since the family couldn't raise the millions to bring the corpse to Nigeria. She shouted, God forbid! That they must bring her husband back to her.
I didn't know how they managed to bring the corpse home after about 7months. Few months after the burial, she cried to me that there is no money to send her children to school. I reasoned, those millions of money gifted to ndi ocha in the name of bringing the corpse home should have been invested in his living children.
My friend, Kim lost his brother living in Spain with him. He added me to WhatsApp to raise funds to bring the corpse to Nigeria. I told him if the family doesn't have the funds, why not bury him over there. Such would not stop him from making heaven if he is already due for heaven. He said never, he must bring his brother home.
I remained on that WhatsApp group to observe how the donations were flowing. About $6000+ was raised. Neither did he travel to Nigeria for the brother's funeral nor showed evidence to the group how much he spent for the corpse to be airlifted. I later learned his other brothers in Nigeria were the ones who sponsored the airlift of the corpse.
The wealthy families who have the money to splash, can go on such burial carnivals. My concern is that families who do not have such capacity, rather than mourn for their beloved, are now mourning for how to raise funds to meetup like how the rich did theirs.
I wish society will leave me one day to bury the dead. And someone told me that I will need 7cows to bury my dad if he dies today. I asked, "What if I don't have money for the 7cows?" Certain burial rules and traditions should be reconsidered in this harsh time so that the living will have little cash to survive on.
© Ada Africa Udegboka
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