Africans mourn their right to time-honoured funeral rites

Lifestyle

Africans mourn their right to time-honoured funeral rites

Grieving families across SA and beyond have to scale back and forgo cherished traditions to comply with restrictions

Emma Rumney

Maaki Modimola sways along to a hymn in the yard of her dead sister’s home in Soweto, a bottle of sanitiser swinging in her hand.

Later at the cemetery, mourners sit on chairs spaced one metre apart. The usual choir is replaced by a recorded track blaring out of a single speaker. Maaki’s sister Mary did not die from Covid-19, but its influence is everywhere in the ceremony.

Township funerals are usually much more extravagant affairs. But, like grieving families across SA and beyond, Maaki and her relatives had to scale back their plans and forgo cherished traditions to comply with coronavirus restrictions...

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