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Kenya

Funeral Arrangements

A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece called Black Humour about how, in the event of my untimely death, I’d like my body to be transported to the graveyard on the back of a boda-boda.

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Yesterday evening, I was walking home from work at dusk when I saw a boda-boda motorbike with a lurid black, red and white sofa lashed onto the pillion seat with rubber straps. I took a photograph, of course. I was shocked as the rider drove his bike into the courtyard of the hospital morgue.

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I asked Maggie, who has moved her wreath-selling business to the mortuary gates, what was going on. She said that he was going to collect a corpse. “And fasten it onto the sofa?” I asked. “Surely he can’t do that?” “Who will stop him?” replied Maggie.

I waited a while, but no shroud-wrapped body was carried out of the mortuary. Maggie tried to sell me a pack of biscuits, but when I refused, she insisted that I say it in Kikuyu, “Ka!”

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Maggie, enthusiastic about selling me a plastic wreath

It gets dark swiftly in the tropics. Our security rules insist I can’t walk outdoors at night time, so I hurried home without seeing what happened at the mortuary. I’ll have to ask Maggie the next time I see her.