KUGEZA EMANTI/KUHLAMBULULA/KUCHINSA – In our culture we associate death as a bad omen and it is something that we don’t accept. When one of our family member passes away we say something bad has happened in our family and the whole family will be under the cloud of death (Kutsiwa kungene emanti endlini/sisemantini). In most African culture if there was death in the family the whole family must be cleansed of the death. When one comes very close to the dead person there must be cleansing there after. The cleansing does not only ends with the family members who are alive but it also includes the deceased. The deceased must also be cleansed from the shadow of dead. It means after there was dead in the family. The family must be cleansed, the home must be cleansed and the deceased must also be cleansed from the shadow of death. If one is not cleansed from the shadow of death that leads to having misfortunes (emashwa/sinyama/emabhadi). Even a home that is not cleansed will have the same and death will be common in that home. It is very important to be cleansed once you found yourself very close to the deceased, you need to be cleansed there after. Even an environment where there was a dead person must be cleansed.
A person must be buried by the family members and the community must just come to assist the family. It is only family members who are suppose to carry a coffin for the dead not anyone from the community. Even if the deceast is your co-worker, school mate, church mate or whatsoever you are not suppose to carry the coffin. One is only allowed to carry the coffin of the relative. Those who carry the coffin must also be cleansed and if you are not the member of that family you cannot be part of them during cleansing (Uhlambo/kugeza emanti/kuchinsa) which is suppose to be done at least 30 days after the burial. In the bible priests were not allowed to attend funeral except if it was the close relative. This was to avoid contamination with the dead body as a person who officiates in the so called holy place. If it happens for a priest to attend a funeral in the bible the priest was suppose to be cleansed also. Dead bodies were not allowed in the temple as they were going to desecrate the so called holy place. But this days pastors are conducting funerals and funeral procession happens in churches which is contrary to their bible. Infact the culture of bringing dead bodies in churches is from the roman Catholic and same as pastors conducting funerals is from the same church its not even in their bible. The home and the place where there was a dead body must be cleansed together with the whole family. I wont give the details of how cleansing must be done but just want to highlight the importance.
Traditional healers are only allowed to attend funerals for those who are very close to them. Before they go to attend the funeral they must prepare some herbs for cleansing before they go so that when they come back they cleanse themselves before going to their consulting room(Indumba). Their assistant (Nyankwabi/Luhlaka) will help them with the cleansing before they continue with their normal duties. If the dead person is not cleansed he will not be a good ancestor (Uyoba Lidlozi lelimnyama). So many bad things happens to other people and they do not even know the roots causes because they carry coffin for strangers and no one has cleansed them. Even if it was you best friend you are not suppose to carry the coffin because you wont be part of the family during cleansing. Children are not suppose to attend funerals even if it was a schoolmate. But now children carry coffins and end up with misfortunes. In most culture even woman were not allowed at the funeral procession or go to the place of burial. Those who still place their love ones in caves are still not allowing woman and children to go to the caves. Woman are the main administrators of the home so they must be pure at all times.
The unfortunate thing is that we are losing our culture at a faster rate and most so called elders are also lost. I am very proud that my Grandfather was not a Christian and he was holding on to culture that way he was able to pass the culture to me, so is my grandmother who is still alive she is not a Christian but living isintu. Sometimes I have to guide very old people on culture who are old enough to be my grandfather or mother as they have lost their culture. Those who died outside from their home their spirit must be fetched by those who are blood-relatives using a branch of certain trees. I hope most people still knows the process of fetching the spirit of their loved ones. Let our people know that even white people do fetch their loved ones from they spot where they passed on using a certain special table. I know that our people wants to follow the whites, some of the things that are not done by the whites is normally considered evil. This thing of saying a person who died through accident is not supposed to be taken inside the house is not true. Once lies have been spoken by several people those lies end up considered as the truth especial by those without the knowledge. There are several rituals that must be done before a person who died accidental can be taken inside the house. But the rituals will differ depending on how the person died, whether by car accident, suicide, stabbed, gun-shot etc. but at the end everyone must be taken inside the house. All procedures must be followed as per our culture. SIYINDUNA MAPOPO RAMPANE….NDAUWE