Man digs own grave, drafts eulogy ‘because he knows self better’

By Wangari Njuguna
Thursday, January 14th, 2021
Mbombo Maragua.
In summary

A 74-year-old man from Mbombo Maragua in Murang’a has become the talk of his village after he dug his own grave where he would like to be interred once he dies.

Samuel Karanja has also drafted a eulogy to be read during his funeral. The retired teacher has demanded that attendees of his funeral be given copies of the eulogy to read from home. 

“I have written my life history because no one knows me better than I know myself,” he said. 

Karanja has given instructions on how he would like to be laid in his grave, indicating he would not like to be buried under the soil. 

Karanja  started by preparing his graveside- a single-roomed cavern and planted  colorful flower around it. 

The  room that stands near his house cost him nearly Sh100,000, Karanja says.

Karanja now says his next step would be getting a casket, which he will put in the ‘grave’ awaiting  his death. 

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. 

Rains heavily

He narrated that back in 1997 when his father died, it rained heavily on the burial day and he was left to fill the grave with the soil after people ran to seek shelter. 

“That is what formed my decision. I decided  to prepare my own grave so that people will not be troubled when I die” he said. 

His action has shocked family members and villagers, who say they do not understand why the man has made this move.

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 said  Karanja does not wear a shirt all day, whether it is freezing cold or sweltering hot.

“I feel he could be having a mental problem that prompt him to do such things,” she said. 

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,” said the residents.