So, recently, i was listening to lakeside city radio- one of the principal radio stations here in kumba – and there was this anouncement that wake keepings with corpse have been banned in kumba municipality. Given the way africans and mostly Cameroonians honour the dead it was a surprise and courageous decision; one in which the general population was considered.
My curiousity led me to start questioning the reason for such a decision. I used to remember the years before i travelled abroad how roads used to be barricaded because of wakekeeping programs in the city of Douala. Not only did it lead to traffic jams but it slowed down economic activity for somebody who is already dead. Other cities have passed this ban and many more are planning to do so.
I equally realised that this decision was taken for health concerns because dead corpses can transmit diseases to those spending the night too close to them. A new trend has, therefore, been started of making wakekeepings without corpse. The usual ‘ashuabis’ and other traditional regalia have not however disappeared. What do you think of this decision? Write your comments below.