COLUMN: Funerals are surely not my cup of tea

2016-11-17 06:00
OPINION Belinda Dilima

OPINION Belinda Dilima

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What is it about us black folks that makes us marvel at attending one’s funeral that we’d go to great lengths as to go shopping for an outfit?

Funerals have become snazzy events nowadays, it puzzles me how we have arrived at this situation.

Maybe this is because I see funerals in a totally different context. My friends can attest to this – I do not like funerals at all!

And I’m not apologetic about it. They’ve tried talking out of it – but hey I don’t budge. I meditated on this the other to try to get myself better and understand the main reason I don’t dig funeral “events”, and finally I got it!

My truth…not yours: Once upon a time while I still a young scholar at Siyabulela Primary School, I had a best-friend, her name was Lawulawu Albert.

She was called this name because she looked like a colored person and her red-hair attested to this.

Every day we would share food at lunch time and after school we would hook up and play house.

This was routine. One day after knocking off from school, Lawu-lawu had gone home to change her uniform. She lived in in Sandile and I at Mqhayi. I was waiting for her to come to my home when I suddenly I heard a commotion.

It was Lawulawu being hit by a speeding car, she died on the scene.

I remember this day vividly. We were in Standard One. Fast forward to her funeral; the Siyabulela Primary Choir, as a norm, had to sing a song for her farewell, we had practiced it under Miss My Lolly’s guidance, and the song went like:

“O lala ngoxolo..O lala ngoxolo…O lala ngoxolo Lawulawu! Uzusikhonzele…Uzusikhonzele…Uzusikhonzele Lawu-lawu!”

I must have gone into trance during this time because this was all taboo to me and funerals were never perceived as joyful to me ever since. And I doubt they will ever be.

It’s also a curious thing that people will go to one’s funeral and speak encouraging and inspiring words but when that person was ill, and needed them the most they were never there.

I’ve had a chance of spending time with two of my friends who were certified “terminal” by the doctors and I am proud that I told them how I felt about them because that message is meant for them and not izihlwele.

A close friend of mine is also anti-funeral like me. She insists she’d be better-off if only her brother and close family buried her. I concur. Besides; whether you come or you do not I can’t see you!

But then again, we see things differently.

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