According to the village LC officials, scores of relatives and fans come to the tomb of the dead man who was a traditional healer to pray to his spirits for various reasons ranging from sickness, recouping squandered fortunes, taming errant husbands
PIC: A man prays at the grass tomb
A barefooted teenage girl kneels beside a stack of grass at the backyard of a rural home in Wakiso District as she silently murmurs a prayer .She is soon joined by a barefooted middle aged man who performs a similar gesture
Before them is not merely a stack of grass, but a tomb of late Edward Sebanakitta who in fulfillment of his will, was unusually buried with grass instead of earth and cement when he died at the age of 85 in November last year.
The two are among the scores of relatives and fans who since Sebanakitta’s death have been frequenting his home at Bulesa village, in Busukuma county of Wakiso District, to pray to his spirit for blessings.
According to the village LC officials, scores of relatives and fans come to the tomb of the dead man who was a traditional healer to pray to his spirits for various reasons ranging from sickness, recouping squandered fortunes, taming errant husbands etc.
“Hardly a day passes without at least five people going to pray at the tomb, “says Mwebe Kabali an LC official at Bulesa village.
According to a family member, Soul Kitaka the unwritten rules at the neat site which is at the backyard of the dead man’s house, require all people to remove their shoes prior to going near the tomb to say their prayers.
Sebana who was a traditional healer at Bulesa village, was buried at a strictly traditional and superstitious ceremony during which family members strictly adhered to the dead man’s ‘directive’ neither to bury him in a coffin nor cover his body with earth and cement.
Rather than buying a coffin in which to bury their beloved one, relatives and other mourners instead contributed bundles of grass which according to the dead man’s strict will had to be uprooted and not cut.
An estimated 2 tons of grass stacked in two huge heaps were collected a day in advance as mourners prepared for the highly superstitious burial which was conducted by traditional healers.
One mourner said to have been a regular client of the late traditional healer, was accorded special recognition after he contributed a full truck of grass.
Neither religious songs nor religious prayers were allowed at the over 3 hour long burial ceremony during which the mourners drummed and sang traditional songs in praise of Buganda’s traditional Gods.
Eighty-five year old Ssaalongo Kavulu, a senior of the family said the dead man had left behind a directive that his body should neither buried in a coffin nor covered with cement and soil as is usually the case.
Only the dead man’s daughters were allowed to perform the burial ceremony by throwing grass into their father’s deep grave which according to the will ,was dug 4 ft wide, 8 ft long and 10 ft deep.
After filling the interior, the mourners went ahead to stack grass up to about 2 meters above the ground level.
Kaddu Mukasa an aide to the deceased said his late boss copied the burial function from that a fellow traditional healer who was also buried in the same fashion a few years back.
Kaddu Mukasa said the late Sebana had during his lifetime repeatedly told colleagues that he wanted to be buried with grass and the grave should be dug behind the dead man’s shrine which is in form of a thicket at the backyard of Sebanakitta’s house.
The deceased, a well to do by his village standards survived by several widows , over 35 children and over 60 grandchildren.