Parents of a 35-year-old man from Kilifi County who committed suicide on Tuesday last week have been left with no choice but to cremate their son’s body despite the Mijikenda tradition frowning upon cremation as a way of sending off loved ones.
Iban Tsuma killed himself on September 1, 2020 by hanging over reasons yet to be known, though it is suspected that relationship woes contributed to his suicidal ideation.
The deceased, whose body was found hanging from a rope tied to the roof of his parents’ house in Matsangoni Village in Kilifi County, had left behind a letter addressed to his girlfriend. Police, who recovered the letter, did not reveal its content.
Tsuma’s father, Reuben Tsuma, has now told K24 Digital that their son had, in the past, told him (Reuben) and nine other family members in a meeting that he (Iban) would want his remains cremated.
“We are now confused on what to do,” stated Said Mwangome Abdala, another member of Iban’s family. “Our traditions frown upon cremation, yet here is our son, who instructed that he be cremated upon his death,” he added.
Harrison Katana, another family member, was of the opinion that Iban be buried in his father’s homestead, a move that the deceased had warned against.
“We can only show that we loved him by burying him in his father’s homestead, and as per our Mijikenda customs,” said Katana.
Iban’s parents, however, say they will have to obey their son’s wish and cremate him, and, thereafter, wait for the resultant consequences, if any.
The deceased, who is still preserved at the Kilifi County Hospital morgue, will be cremated in Mombasa on Thursday, September 10, his parents said.