There is a famous saying in Zambia that "you know that you are Zambian if upon seeing a Hearse carrying a coffin, you quickly pull aside, get out of your car and bow in respect of the dead and when you see an Ambulance with flashing lights, rushing to hospital you ignore it, block its way and keep driving and remark, ninshi bakalamba?
I think this idea of "Body roadshow" is really not necessary. It all started with death of our former first lady and now it has become a Malawian tradition for fallen VVIP. I hope this will be the last one.
To really pay respect to the dead, we need to take care of the living. We can do that by ensuring the living do not die unnecessarily due to our own selfish and greedy motives.
To pay respect is to allow those grieving to be given the necessary privacy to allow them to rebuild their lives whilst celebrating lives of the departed. The torture endured by the widow in this case the former first lady by sitting besides her dead husband as people file to view the body for 2 weeks should not be allowed. It must be the longest two weeks she has ever had in her life.
To pay respect to the dead is not by releasing more carbon in the atmosphere by flying body all over for people to view, scream and faint. With all the technology, people could have viewed body on large screens in their areas.
To pay respect to the dead is not spending more resources which the poor and living need, by doing what we have done as a country which includes concealing the body and flying a dead body to South Africa.
I think it's time we Malawians started to learn paying respect to the living because the dead are gone. It is a body without a soul and it's those that are living like the family members that need healing and Gods love. It is the poor that continue to suffer because we are too busy on a roadshow that need respect and support.
I am sure I will get a lot of stick, but then that is why we are in a democracy.
In Chihoro we have our uncle known as Taratara. When a member of chihoro clan dies, he takes care of us and buries us. Thank God he has no time to parade our bodies in khuyu, vunguvungu, kaJoni, thunda, Gumi, and all those places. Immediately he buries us, he is off to his usual vunguvungu joint for mnkontho.