Africa’s Gradual Acceptance Cremation

For those who have witnessed Africa’s traditional funeral ceremonies, it is far from the ones Westerners are used to. In Africa, funeral means a gathering that will last for a number of days and rooted deeply in tradition and culture of the people. There are wailing women, elaborate funeral practices, livestock offered as sacrifice and long speeches by the people who were left behind. This is done because of their belief that those who have passed away are not actually dead. In the Western world, cremation and putting the ashes in cremation urns will suffice these days.

This modern practice is considered to be a taboo in Africa many years ago. The traditional Africans are not happy with the thought of turning to cremations since this is considered wrong in the country. They are left with no choice though because migration has resulted to very crowded graveyard and generations who are not able to afford a space of land for a traditional burial.

In April, authorities in Nairobi which is the capital of Kenya recommended that Kenyans should turn to cremation because the public cemeteries have no longer enough land space to accommodate burial especially the ones located in the Lang’ata. The result is that they have to pile some of the bodies on top of one another in order to save space.

HitanMajevda, the lead health executive in Nairobi, admitted that they no longer have space to accommodate the dead bodies therefore cremation is the only alternative they could think of.

When Kenneth Matiba, a wealthy man who used to run for the presidency, died on April of this year, the family turned to cremation and this made people consider cremation as an alternative. This is only logical considering that the country is conservative in nature but the population has ballooned to 48 million and majority of the people with no lands have no choice but to live in the slums.

Cremation in the United States is far too common with families keeping the ashes in cremation urns and many people think that the lack of religion is one of the reasons why they are no longer attached to traditional burial.

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