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Remains of 100 year old man in Kilifi, exhumed 14 years later and reburied

By JOSEPH MASHA | August 19th 2014
Villagers traditional dance around the coffin that contains the remains of the late Ndoro Menza Sadi on Saturday, 16th August, 2014 at Tunya Nguo village in Vitengeni of Kilifi County. Residents exhumed the grave that was used to bury the late Ndoro Menza Sadi in 1999 and the remains reburied after the late is said to have appeared in dreams to his close family members protesting that he was indecently buried.[PHOTO:JOSEPH MASHA/ STANDARD]

KILIFI COUNTY: The body of Ndoro Menza Sadi who died in Tinya Nguo village in Vitengeni of Kilifi county aged 100 years old in 1999 has been exhumed to fulfil an ancient cultural ritual and reburied in a coffin in the same grave.

Ndoro's family claim they did this to avert a curse for performing a faulty ritual adding that the late old man has been speaking to them through dreams or nightmares in the dead of the night demanding to be accorded the right burial, in a coffin.

In the first burial Ndoro was not buried in a coffin in accordance with the local tribal customs and rites but the remains were exhumed on Friday and buried two days later as shocked villagers watched.

In the alleged nightmares the late Ndoro reportedly threatens his living family with dire consequences if they do not bury him  decently.

"My late father has been appearing in dreams to his close family members including myself complaining that he was not accorded a decent burial and that his body must be exhumed and reburied in a good way failure to which disasters could happen to us,” said Taabu Menza, the late Ndoro's first born who led the ritual.

He told The Standard these dreams began in 2013 after the burial of his mother in a coffin. Apparently Ndoro was not amused that his wife was getting better treatment in death then he did.

Menza says his late mother was buried in coffin but had all the Giriama traditions and cultural rites observed. Reports show that the late Ndoro was not accorded a coffin and all the rites because he died of a mysterious disease.

He says that apart from being put in the cold earth without a coffin his father's body was not buried in new clothes and his favourite traditional Giriama song Kifudu not sang.

These nightmares peaked lately forcing the family to call a meeting that resolved that a new burial was necessary.

'After we received the concerns of my late father, I took the responsibility of calling my uncles and aunts to discuss the issue before we agreed as team to remove the body from the grave and rebury it to address his grave concerns,”  said Menza.

Ndoro's younger and surviving brother Sadi Gwindi confirmed this meeting was held and the resolution reached unanimously.

Gwindi said his late brother was not accorded a burial that fits an old man like him because he had died from unclear diseases.

He said according to the Giriama community traditions and cultures people who die through unfamiliar diseases are not accorded a burial that conforms to tradition and culture including denying them a coffin send off.

"When my brother's urinary system blocked it was decided that he be buried outside the custom because we did not understand what killed him,” said Gwindi when he spoke to The Standard in Kilifi Monday.

But he said tradition allows such exhumation and reburial to put disturbed spirits like the late Ndoro's to rest happily.

When The Standard visited the home on Friday, we found that the remains had been removed and the grave was open with a clean and new coffin nearby. On Sunday the late Ndoro was reburied in a traditional ceremony where fresh rites were performed, goats and cattle slaughtered to out spirits to rest ushering in a week of mourning and rites.

Ndoro's grandson Alfrine Katana said the family is now at peace.

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