Do you remember Samuel Karanja AKA Kumenya? The Murang’a man who hit the headlines in January this year after digging his own grave and writing his eulogy? The septuagenarian is at it again!
This time round, the 74-year-old from Kiharu walked straight into a coffin shop in Murang’a town and bought himself one. So determined to die is the elderly man – no pun intended – that he requested for a customised coffin.
Back in January, he named his final resting place “Kumenya”, after his alias which loosely translated to ‘to know’. The name “Kumenya” has been plastered on top of the grey coffin, which has been fixed with wheels for mobility. Unlike other coffins, his does not have a mirror for body viewing when he finally dies.
After the carpenters are done with it, Kumenya will transport it to his home in a special way…
“Once the coffin is complete to my specifications, I will enter the coffin and it will be closed and I already have a boda boda that will ferry me while inside just to feel the journey,” he says. “When we reach at home, I have already paid people who will carry me to my already prepared grave and wheel me in and lock, as a rehearsal of how my funeral will go down.”
Kumenya, a retired teacher, says that copies of the eulogy he has already drafted will be given to mourners to read from home.
“I have written my life history because no one knows me better than I know myself,” he affirms.
How Murang’a man prepared resting place
His graveside is a single-roomed cavern near his house. He has planted colorful flowers around it which he says cost him nearly KSh100,000.
The former teacher argues that this is not an extraordinary thing as everybody is bound to die and thus it is good to prepare for it.
And what exactly informed his drastic decision? Back in 1997 when his father died, he says, it rained heavily on the burial day and he was left to fill the grave with soil on his own after people ran to seek shelter.
“That is what informed my decision. I decided to prepare my own grave so that people will not be troubled when I die.”
His wife thinks he has mental issues
According to Karanja’s wife, Jane Wanjira, her husband built a small house, but did not disclose his intention until recently. She said her husband has lately become quite secretive.
Wanjira says Karanja does not wear a shirt all day, whether it is freezing cold or sweltering hot.
“I feel he could be having a mental problems that prompt him to do such things,” she says.
She said the man who was a staunch follower of Salvation Army stopped going to church without giving any reasons.
Villagers now believe Karanja is courting his own death by making the grave since he is still in good health.
“We have never heard of such a thing. We are shocked to see someone preparing his own grave,” says one of the residents.