Qhubeka Liza Mabude, a member of the South African Think Tank group on Facebook asks: 

I want to pose a question that might offend some but I want real genuine answers if you have them. 

It’s something I’m so puzzled about especially being a youngish, African descendant person of more concentrated melanin or thingamabob. 

Ok, I’m a black who does not get the logic behind this, so here goes the question…

Why do black people worship death and dead people so much?

Also, why do they spend thousands of rands on these feasts for these occasions? Even funerals now cost over R50 000 these days yet lobolas range in the 20s and 30s.

The response from many members of the group: 

Andrew Sidelo makes it clear that there are many cultures throughout the world who worship death: “Cultures throughout the world are obsessed with afterlife, that should be your first lesson. Whilst others are modest, others want to celebrate that life.

In China and Egypt, Pharoahs were buried with gold. Again in most African cultures, invites are not sent for such, it is opened up to the community and the sad result is we spend too much cause we have to accommodate others and depending on culture we slaughter animals too. These are our customs.”

Sidelo added, “It’s good to ask questions, only if it’s to learn. I once asked about the culture of wearing black to funerals. Believe it or not, it’s an English thing. My white friend didn’t believe the extent to which cultures spread and are enforced or adopted by others.”

Felicity Hume says: Many white folk also have this truly morbid thing with death and funerals. I say, let the dead bury the dead.

Bree Frenner says:  “I’ve experienced this type of mentality in the rural town I lived in. Huge amounts of money is spent on funerals. Unfortunately because it’s expected and a tradition to be served especially meat, buying and slaughtering of animals is quite expensive which many families cannot afford. 

The poor put themselves deep in debt, loans that after the funeral takes months even years to pay back.

It’s sad to see the grip cultural beliefs have on some people, in many cases the suffering and struggle afterwards is evident. It’s hard to understand why they put themselves in this dilemma, and I doubt it will change soon.”

 – with an additional response from Qubheka Mabude: “I live in a rural area and believe me, I’m amazed each time this happens. They always wrap the coffin with a very good blanket.

The kind of blanket they would not have bought had the dead person been alive – and all sorts of money wasters as a means of a send off.  I remember how at a family meeting after my dad passed, one of my uncles suggested my dad be escorted with 3 bulls cause he was a real man.”

Lerato Moeletsane says: Yoh Good Question? I’ve never looked at it that way neh, yah neh. Lobola v\s Funerals, Or is it Dead v\s the Living..

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