A man from Maji Mazuri village in Lugari subcounty conducted a funeral for his favourite hen and cemented its grave. He promised to hold anniversary rites for his bird.
Residents on Friday were drawn to the home of Joseph Omulai by the laments he sang after learning of the death of his hen in a nest where it was sitting on 12 eggs that were to hatch in two weeks.
They were surprised when they found him mourning the hen. He played loud music in his home overnight, akin to ‘disco matanga’ during funerals.
Omulai dug a three-foot-deep grave on Saturday, conducted a one-man service, reading the Bible and praying. He wrapped it in a white cloth and buried it. Then he cemented the grave as villagers watched in astonishment.
In the cement, he wrote, Rass Hen 2019.
Omulai said he loved his hen and was deeply saddened by its sudden death, alleging it succumbed to injuries after it was hit by a villager. He said that instead of throwing it away, he wanted to honour it.
“I bought seven chicks last year and took care of them up to maturity but others were stolen and I was left with this one which had laid 12 eggs. I was just waiting for them to hatch, but unfortunately, somebody hit the hen, causing its death,” Omulai said.
Resident Halima Daraja said, “I was informed of the incident by my neighbour but I didn’t believe it. When I came here I was shocked to find him mourning his hen. He read the Bible and prayed before burying it as we watched.”
Another resident said she heard of the burial from her children who had passed Omulai’s compound and witnessed the burial.
“In fact, I chased my children and warned them against lying to me, but after they insisted that I see myself, I decided to come and witness. I couldn’t believe what I saw,” she said.
Villager Caroline Awinja said that since she missed the burial service, she is waiting to see how Omulai will conduct the anniversary service.