The Kenyan Community residing in Texas have been irked by the action taken by one of their members’ by burying her husband against his will in Texas. Mrs Eucabeth Ongesa is said to have taken a unilateral decision to bury her husband in the USA, while all plans for the burial were going on in Kisii-Kenya. Unconfirmed information from the Chairman of the disbanded funeral committee said that the late Ongesa had written a Will to be buried in Kitale-Kenya if he dies.
The Kenyan Community in Texas raised enough money to transport the body back to Kenya, and even Air tickets had been purchased for the family members who were to accompany the body of Mr Ongesa to his final resting place.
The brother to late in a phone interview said that he travelled back to Kenya to arrange for the arrival of the body of his brother at JKIA, but later received information from the widow to his brother that his brother had already been buried in Dallas, Texas. He claims that all funeral arrangements had been finalized before he boarded the plane and was in constant communication with his brother’s widow but later to be told that his brother has been buried in Texas.
Citizen TV Kenya interviewed close family members back in Kenya who are still reeling from the shock of learning that their son had been buried in a foreign country and to make matters worse no family member was in attendance.
Members of the Kisii Community from USA, Europe, Australia and the Middle East have voiced concerns some terming the widows’ action as ill-timed and an inevitable curse intended to hurt the fabric of extended family, while others praising her actions because the American Constitution allows the widow or a widower to make final decision to where the spouse is supposed to be interred.
In Minnesota, a forum calling itself Mwanyagetinge has seen all fireworks and barbs thrown at the window while others are praising the actions taken by the widow. Led by a vocal firebrand Kisii Cultural proponent Mr Ayaka Onyambu, and Mr Daniel Monari, have termed the widow, Mrs Eucabeth Ongesa, as a woman who has no moral stand and feelings in her heart to have done such kind of act which is very archaic, Unchristian and cannot stand the test of time.
“The dead do not accord themselves last respect however rich they might be however beautiful their wills are”
It’s done by the living. You can plan your life very well but still be failed by those you leave behind like the Texas case. Dead people tell no tells. Nobody buries themselves. You get buried by your surviving kin.
We have seen very organized people get accorded very chaotic burials by their single wives. And we have also seen very polygamous people get a very respectable send-off from their many wives. So let us not mix issues here. Focus on the mindset of a woman who can’t bury a man at his homeland.
This woman could have done the same thing even if she were the only wife. Don’t bring irrelevant issues. She buried the man here not because he has another wife, but because she did not want him to be buried at his home in Nyamache-Kisii (his homeland). She did not want his mother to be there. She did not want his father to see his body. Who does that? Who? What the woman did is a script from hell. Now people have gone round and round bringing none-issues confusing the whole thing.
If you’re unable to relate with the problem, ask yourself this question to help you relate: if you were the mother, father, sister, brother of the deceased and you’re back in Kenya, what would you have wanted to happen? If you would be okay for your brother to be buried in a Texas desert without your knowledge while you hold a mock burial at home, then that’s fine(you belong to the devil).
But if you would have wanted your son/brother’s body home and a burial ceremony was done by everyone involved, then know you’re cheating us here going round in circles. Stop pretending. In fact, even the culture should arise. It’s the right thing to do with or without culture. Sometimes the best way to understand a problem is to role-play because some people are incapable of empathy” Ayaka quoted in one of his posts.
While Mr. Osiemo Osiemo, has termed Eucabeth Ongesa’s action as outsmarting the family and the community at large because there were rumours that the widow could immediately lose possession of the body immediately it could land in Kenya which made her change her mind and bury the husband in haste and not to be humiliated by her in-laws if she accompanied her husband to Kenya for burial.
In a rejoinder a renowned Attorney who deals with Immigration and Labor Laws Mr. Peter Omari has advised the Community to accept challenges and be ready to accept some radical changes especially to the members of the Kenyan Community residing in any foreign land because the laws of the resident Country take precedent in any matter arising from family and overrides cultural beliefs of another Country.
Some informers have also said that Mr Ongesa’s case is complicated because he had two previous marriages in Kenya and got Children, but the marriages never worked out. So, it’s rumoured that the body was not destined for Kitale but Kisii-Nyamache, a decision which was taken by the family against the widow and Ongesa’s Will.