I simply cannot comprehend how human beings can be so myopic and insensitive not to see that a living human being is of more value alive than dead!
Here is a typical Tanzanian scenario; you have lately been unwell, perhaps hospitalized. Your NSSF and NHIF along with your savings have been depleted to the last farthing. Having pulled out of the misfortune, you are trying to pick up bits and pieces of your life. All that time, your relatives have been too “busy” running around organizing zillions of fancy weddings that will perhaps end in bitter divorces. None of them even bothered to make a single telephone call – to at least comfort you in the time of dire need.
Had the worst happened, that is if you had died, fancy cars would have littered your compound and those of your neighbors’. Wailing relatives would have spent nights, some feigning grief untold, mourning and making ambulance wails. Your ever green grass compound would have been trampled to baldness. Funeral contributions would lavishly have been given. Beer and food would have flowed. In your lifetime, you have never seen the inside of an aircraft but this time round, your casket would have been stacked together with other stuff in the aircraft l, luggage cabin. You probably would have taken your last kingly ride in a sinister black Mercedes or Bentley hearse driven by a stocky man in a black uniform. As soon as the grave has been covered with a ton of soil and concrete, relatives will pat themselves on their shoulders for a job well done and disperse. That’s life. It would have been a perfect occasion for your relatives to showcase their wealth!
Thank God that you have cheated death and pulled out sickness and you are recuperating. But sooner than you have started footing that school fees bill and house rent arrears accumulated during your sickness, than fancy wedding cards start flowing. Endless and lengthy phone calls even at the wee hours of the night start flowing. Wedding meetings will ensue and the wage you call a salary will be all committed to “worthy” causes of marrying off your daughters in the form of “send offs”, so-called “kitchen parties”, lavish weddings and mumbo-jumbos.
To me, all these acts of self-aggrandizement are vain and stupid to say the least. I have never come to terms with the convoluted notion of attaching more value to the dead than the living. I simply cannot comprehend how human beings can be so myopic and insensitive not to see that a living human being is of more value alive than dead!