by Martin Beck Nworah
To die in the Southern part of Nigeria is a very expensive venture. This is why a great philosopher and thinker of our time, Flavour N’abania stated in his famous work ‘Oringo’, “Kama m ga anwu anwu, kam furu efuru.” (Instead of me to die, let me get lost)
Let me run you down a few items on the list.
First, posters will be printed and pasted around town to announce your death. This poster costs money and serves two purposes. On one hand, those owing you will know you’re no longer alive to disturb them to pay again, that’s assuming the deceased family is not aware of the debt. On the other hand and most importantly, those you are owing will know nobody will be alive to pay them again. Even if the family knew, this is where they will ignore the person. Is he mad? Oya go to the grave and collect your money na.
The aggrieved party usually waits for the burial day to chop his money as much as he can through food.
Going further, if you belong to any church group or association before you died, your family must clear your debt. These associations no dey smile. If your family refuses to pay, they won’t attend your burial. And they don’t even hide it while you’re alive sef because you will be hearing subtle threats like, “Bia Martin Beck Nworah, you will not attend meeting and you’ll not pay your dues, just know we won’t attend your burial when you die ooooo.”
The village associations are the worst. Your family will inform them about your death with drinks, hot aromatic drink, create of malt and other things as required. If not, village people will treat you as a living dead man.
While all these notifications take place, your corpse is chilling in the mortuary getting fat. Who will attend properly to it, kwanu? It’s like your corpse is sick in the head abi? Chai, sorry, corpse can’t be sick na. E don die. But don’t try to romance a corpse ooo, because you will just hear, “What is dead may never die” for GOT fans.
Now everybody is ready to bury you. Finally.
There must be food and drinks for those who will come to cry with your family on your demise. This is a serious something. People don’t understand the difference in party rice, wedding rice and burial rice ooo; all rice na rice. If you don’t have money to feed them, kuku stay alive.
How about the youths who will dig the grave? Chai. I forgot them. Of the greatest Nigerian youths!!! You must provide kaikai, cigarettes, weed and some crates of alcohol that will be consumed at your grave site. It is called the “Rite of Cleansing” in street parlance. They will now consecrate your grave so you will chill in peace. If your people fail to treat the youths well, hmmmmm, one day, they may come and carry you away from that room downstairs. After all, dead men tell no tales. They will just sell you to all these Teaching Hospitals in search of human parts for studies and experiment.
After the burial, the family will check to see how profitable your burial was. At least you will fetch money for people living, abi you want to die and go just like that? Abi you don’t know you’re a product even in death. Stay there na.
For those who still want you to rest in peace, they have what is called “Months mind”. In normal parlance, this is like a mop up of the burial. They will now go to church and thank God for your life. See, after crying and making money from you, they will now go and thank God. But mind you, if your burial wasn’t profitable, you run a great risk of not enjoying this special service. So better start making much friends now you’re alive oooo.
After this one, then they will now organize the removal of the burial cloth. Oh, you don’t know people did burial asoebi for you? Shebi I told you that you’re a profitable corpse but you didn’t believe me. So the living have to organize a ceremony to remove the cloth so they can move on. In many cases, they combine the months mind and cloth removal together.
If you consider all these expenses, you will be careful when next you stop on a post and comment, “Just kee me”, “Finish me”, “I want to faint”, “Kill me die” etc. And now that one corner dance is the rave, your grave may be a perfect dancing spot.
What is dead may never die!
Till we get to the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija