More prominent persons in Kenya turning to cremation

The hearse carrying the remains of the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore leaves the Lee Funeral Home on July 2, 2019 for a cremation at the Kariokor Cemetery. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Cremation is becoming a common practice among prominent people.

Bob Collymore has joined a growing list of prominent persons in Kenya who during their lifetime choose cremation over traditional burial.

The Safaricom chief executive officer was interred on Tuesday at the Kariokor crematorium in a private function.

He died on Monday morning after a long struggle with blood cancer (leukaemia).

Cremation is becoming a common practice among prominent people.

Here are some of the popular Kenyans who were cremated.

  • April 2018: Former politician and the multiparty founder Kenneth Matiba.
  • 2015: Africa’s Classic Professional golf champion Peter Njiru interred at Kariokor.

    Former sports administrator Joshua Okuthe. His empty coffin was later buried in a mock funeral in Tamu, Muhoroni.

  • 2011: Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Her ashes were later buried at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental studies.
  • Former minister Peter Okondo was also cremated. There was a wrangle over his final burial rites after some family members disapproved cremation. On the burial date, relatives arrived to collect the body at the morgue only to find his wife had cremated it.
  • Former Anglican archbishop Manasses Kuria and his wife
  • 2002: Mary Nyambura Kuria, the wife of the late Anglican archbishop Manasses Kuria. She was cremated at the Lang'ata crematorium two days after her death at the Nairobi Hospital. Her cremation came as a shock to the members of ACK church.
  • 2005: Anglican archbishop Manasses Kuria died in 2005 and was also interred.

Last year, the Nairobi County government urged residents to consider cremation terming it more economical and given that the Lang'ata cemetery is full.
The cost of cremation ranges between Sh13,000 for adults and Sh6,000 for children,