Song and dance as Magoha takes his final journey
Kenyans were yesterday treated to a rare spectacle as dozens of Nigerians living in Kenya gave their departed son-in-law, Prof George Magoha, a befitting send-off.
Clad in traditional Nigerian mourning gear, they danced around the Mercedes Benz carrying the casket bearing the remains of the former Education Cabinet Secretary, singing dirges in their local dialect.
Magoha’s widow, Barbara is a Nigerian.
Proceedings came to a standstill at the Lee Funeral Home as the Nigerians paid their last respects to Magoha as other mourners watched in bewilderment.
At one point, four men, clad in white and green hats all covered in white veils, placed their ‘rungus’ on the hearse and uttered some words in their dialect, while gently tapping it.
One of the mourners, Chief Paulina George Otieno, a Nigerian married to a Kenyan explained that the men dressed in white, known as the masquerade, signify cleansing the dead from any grudges.
“There are different dancers, from the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and the Efik… Auntie Barbara is an Efik, a Calabar woman. We in Nigeria come together as one and mourn in one language, we cry in one language and that is what we are doing,” she explained.
“If it was happening in Nigeria, it would be hotter than this, the body would not be inside the car we would have carried it on our shoulders.
The people all covered are the masquerade… because the masquerade signifies that there are spirits, so the spirits have come to mourn fellow spirit,” Chief Paulina explained.
From Lee, Magoha’s procession snaked its way to various places which shaped his illustrious career in the medical field.