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Kanumba`s grave draws crowd

13th April 2012
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Mourners still flock to the grave site of the late movie star Steven Kanumba at Kinondoni in Dar es Salaam. A mourner takes a snap shot of the grave as the other lays a wreath yesterday. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

Barely a day after the memorable funeral of Tanzania’s most successful movie star Steven Kanumba, people have never stopped to visit the site of his grave at Kinondoni Cemetery in Dar es Salaam.

People of all ages, races, and sexes have been seen at the grave site yesterday as they went to visit it.

It has been an abnormal episode for people, particularly without any close blood relationship, to take trouble and visit a grave site but for Kanumba has been a different story altogether.

When interviewed some of them said they did not have a chance to see the funeral procession on Wednesday afternoon owing to big crowd.

The heavy rains that pounded Dar es Salaam City on Wednesday slowed the pace of the people on their way to the grave site.

However, the congregation gained tempo yesterday as people boarded buses and other transport means heading towards the Kinondoni Cemetery.

Others said they missed to attend the Tuesday’s funeral due to various reasons, including family commitments and business activities.

“We were not present in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday thus we find it useful to come here and pay our last respect to our beloved Kanumba though his body has already been buried,” said one of the visitors to the graveyard site.

How long would people continue to flock at the Kanumba’s grave site which has been transformed into a ‘artistic shrine” is yet to be ascertained.

During Kanumba’s funeral procession on Tuesday, most of the mourners missed to pay their last respects as organisers cut short the session.

The payment of last respect ritual would have delayed the burial of Kanumba’s body probably to late night or beyond.

The ritual needed a complete day at a spacious ground as claimed by most of the mourners who missed to pay last respect to the fallen hero.

It was the biggest ever crowd to attend such a funeral at the Kinondoni graveyard for an artist of film celebrity for decades.

The multitude of people would be established in exact number but might have exceeded ten thousands.

Most of the crosses of other graves were broken as people struggled to access the burial site last Tuesday.

Kanumba died suddenly on the dawn of Saturday morning and the news shocked many people across the country and beyond.

Mystery still surrounds his death as his girlfriend Elizabeth Michael, also known as Lulu, has been charged for the alleged murder at the Kisutu Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam on the very Wednesday.

Kanumba was born in 1984, did not leave an heir and was not married until he met his sudden death that rocked most of the households in East Africa.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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