Observer on Saturday - - Analysis & Opinion -


This is an open-ended sad event where peo­ple come as they please or obliged by cer­tain so­ci­etal un­der­tak­ings with the be­reaved or the de­ceased.

For that rea­son both gen­ders are fairly rep­re­sented in a fu­neral and no one has to ex­plain the rea­son for at­ten­dance.

As for men, they are forever at­tend­ing fu­ner­als es­pe­cially if same fall on a week­end.

Whilst they may take their wives along, they like it bet­ter when they go there alone asale ekhaya make. Of course the man who has in­ti­mated he would be go­ing to at­tend the vigil might make it in the early hours of the day asatike kutsi bese bab­ha­jwa kuphi bob­abe.

The other gen­der, our beau­ti­ful sis­ters at­tend fu­ner­als ei­ther by re­la­tions or by as­so­ci­a­tion.

They will never go to a fu­neral of any­one they don’t know. Oh no, they do, when they know or in the com­pany of some­one who knows the de­ceased.

So­ci­etal Scales is ex­cited by a com­po­si­tion of fe­male mourn­ers or fu­neral at­ten­dants when an­other woman has lost a hus­band.

Like the males, they come to the fu­neral as rel­a­tives, as­so­ciates in busi­ness or ca­reer, col­leagues but also as girl­friend’sex-or cur­rent to your de­ceased hus­band. Some are of course un­be­known to the be­reaved and griev­ing wife. Oth­ers may be.

Cul­ture has it that a woman who has just lost her hus­band is not sup­posed to see all the peo­ple who come to mourn the demise of the man or at­tend his fu­neral. She would be com­pletely cov­ered in a blan­ket and can only be in­formed by those close to her who was around to of­fer con­do­lences or at­tend­ing the fu­neral.

Now it was and still as­sumed that the wife is most grief-stricken of all the be­reaved fam­ily mem­bers thus her face may not be a good spec­ta­cle for the pub­lic. Or she may not ap­pear to be griev­ing and thus send the so­ci­etal tongues wag­ging in­sin­u­at­ing she knows how her hubby died.

For the same mea­sure she is not ex­pected to be en­gag­ing with men and look­ing them straight in the eyes lest an in-law may see a spark of love be­tween the freshly wid­owed woman and the said guy.

Moder­nity has mod­i­fied all that, women to­day come to their hus­band’s fu­ner­als in thin veiled nets over the face and un­less she is fac­ing the floor, she sees ev­ery­one around and hears ev­ery­thing said.

That is an im­bal­ance par­tic­u­larly when other women her hus­band knew whilst he lived are also in at­ten­dance. Whilst she is watch­ing, she will see this woman who is also part of the fu­neral and not just at­tend­ing!

She will de­ci­pher from the way she con­ducts her­self that she is known to her de­ceased hus­band in many ways than one.

You see, women your hus­band knew in­ti­mately will not pre­tend they don’t know him once he is dead es­pe­cially when they come to the place where his fu­neral will take place. This one will come cry­ing more than all the souls di­rectly be­reaved.

She is con­spic­u­ously iden­ti­fi­able by her stylish black wear from the toe to the last strand of her ar­ti­fi­cial Brazil­ian hair.

The car she would be driv­ing and some­thing red­dish in her dress code or in her hands will spell more grief for the widow. Nangu umg­caki ag­ca­maza ebaleni naye uhamba nget­ingc­ingco for she wants it be known that she also was in the space for the man’s love and at­ten­tion. She will only come short of greet­ing the wid­owed woman, asho nekusti, sisonkhe sisi.

What kills most wi­d­ows who watch these things is that the strange woman is no stranger to mem­bers of the hus­band’s fam­ily noma ngabe yena aka­mati. She will be well re­ceived, overly at­tended and promi­nently seated in the tent. She may have a child or two by her side with a split­ting im­age to the late hus­band.

The woman would have come with all her emo­tional bag­gage and wail like a foundling un­til she faints and as­sisted to her car. In all this the widow is en­dur­ing the spec­ta­cle be­cause she is ill-con­ceale­dubona konkhe. One widow, hav­ing no­ticed this lady at her hus­band’s fu­neral started her in­ves­tiga­tive moves un­til she was told where she worked. At the ear­li­est time con­ve­nient, she went to her work­place with an in­ten­tion to at­tack the woman. Nay.

She got what she had not bar­gained for. The cul­prit met her at the door of her spa­cious of­fice, which it­self in­tim­i­dated the teacher widow waseMd­lan­gala Pri­mary School lo­fundzisa scrip­ture ne­sewing.

She hugged her tightly and started cry­ing her­self, “Si­lahlekelwe sob­a­bili sisi kuNh­lenget­fwa.”She had no choice but to join and also cry and fur­ther learn who her hus­band was to the lady here. You can­not fight a dead man over sins he com­mit­ted whilst he lived!

Scales will tell you as much, a pop­u­lar man’s fu­neral be­comes a haven of fem­i­nine fash­ion and the colour black be­ing the theme. Amongst all the women are his po­ten­tial, in­cum­bent and ex-girl­friends.

They are here to pay their last re­spects to a man who also touched and moved their hearts,ashadile anem­fati kod­vwa whom some would be see­ing the wife for the first time.

One or two of them like the prom­i­nent one, has a child with the man who also is peep­ing through the crowds of his fa­ther’s fu­neral, a man he pos­si­bly may never have met.

A be­reaved woman suf­fers many blows over and above the grief at hand. Each of these women will be known at east to one mem­ber of her in-laws and they will even ac­knowl­edge the chil­dren ban­gak­abikwa even to the fam­ily.

Some are do­ing it to spite the very widow who has lost her hus­band. In Mahlangat­sha, KaGumedze, a scuf­fle in the yard at­tracted scores of mourn­ers just leav­ing the yard. Two el­e­gantly dressed and beau­ti­ful women were fight­ing. They were known to each other and to some fam­ily mem­bers but not to the widow. Ru­mour has it that kwaba nekubukana kabi from the tent nekukhu­lu­misana bud­labha and one of them wa­phun­yukelwa sandla whereas the other re­tal­i­ated. Scales is in­formed they were both sep­a­rated by the de­ceased man’s elder sis­ter, who was chid­ing one of the two, “Ufu­nani wena LaNg­wenya ngoba wak­wala bhuti?” The widow was shocked not only by the fight but by the rev­e­la­tion from umkhula wakhe. Oth­ers are ca­su­ally at­tend­ing the fu­neral ngoba bete nebafana babo other hus­bands who es­caped the clutches of their bick­er­ing wives ba­phuma ngemn­ngcwabo only to come in the morn­ing or ku­to­buka bafana nje for such sit­u­a­tions sad as they are can load kwe­ma­jongo lokuCute kan­jani! The pop­u­lar­ity of yourhus­band will ever de­ter­mine the kind of women who would come to his fu­neral, imisebenti yemu­ntfu iyam­landzela. As said the place be­comes a fash­ion and style ga­lore of women he re­tal­i­ated to, his col­leagues, as­so­ciates, ac­quain­tances and of course girl­friends. Even­tu­ally his griev­ing wife would re­alise she stayed with a man lobekas­a­phuma lid­ladla kadzeni!

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