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'Only 50 people at a funeral? That's unheard of in black culture'- Africa Melane

13 January 2021 5:08 PM
Tags:
Africa Melane
Funeral
COVID-19 funerals
African traditions

John Maytham sits down with Africa Melane to find out more about the significance of funerals in traditional African culture.

Why is government continuing to allow up to 50 people at a funeral, but beaches and parks remain closed, asked Twitter user @HonourableJoAnn on Wednesday.

It's a question CapeTalk's John Maytham says he is asked regularly on his show.

"People say why not restrict it to immediate family only, and that makes sense from my Western perspective," he said.

Maytham encouraged listeners who have questions about a culture that is not their own to ask in a 'non-judgemental manner'.

CapeTalk presenter Africa Melane joined John Maytham to talk about the importance of funerals in black culture and why it is that ceremonies with only a handful of mourners in attendance are unheard of.

The concept of 'immediate family' in an African family context does not exist.

Africa Melane, Presenter - CapeTalk/702

My aunts, my cousins, they grew up with me my whole life, they are as close to my heart as my brothers are and my nephew is.

Africa Melane, Presenter - CapeTalk/702

Melane added that in African culture, honouring the life of a family member with only a few relatives is unheard of.

It's something foreign to us, it's a concept that just does not exist.

Africa Melane, Presenter - CapeTalk/702

Melane also shared with Maytham how he has lost 14 people from Covid-19 since 1 January.

During his address to the nation on Monday President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted that "providing a fitting send-off ...is deeply ingrained in all of us", but said that performing certain rituals is currently not possible.

" All these activities that would normally take place are just increasing our exposure to risk – for ourselves, for the bereaved family and for our own families at home...for now, it is best and safer to stay at home."

On Wednesday the funeral services industry called on the government to draw up definitive guidelines on what acceptable procedures are during funerals held under the current national lockdown.

Currently, attendance is capped at 50, the wearing of masks is compulsory and social distancing must be in place.

Find out more about the significance of funerals in black culture by listening to the full podcast from Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


13 January 2021 5:08 PM
Tags:
Africa Melane
Funeral
COVID-19 funerals
African traditions

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