cremation in Kenya

More and more Kenyans are embracing cremation as a way of sending off their loved once unlike back in the day where that mode of burial was frowned upon.

So, what goes into the cremation process?

A cremation needs the following items ghee, sesame seeds, incense sticks and a white or red piece of cloth for covering the dead body.

According to priest Kishorejina Ashai Bhai, “Ghee quickens the burning and the sesame seeds break the body into pieces.”

The cremation takes about two and half hours. The bones are placed in a grinder and crushed into ash and then handed to the family of the deceased in an urn.

The cremation of an adult in Kenya ranges between Ksh 9,000 to Sh13,000. While cremating a child costs Sh 6,000 and an infant Sh 4,000.

The scattering of ashes charge goes for Sh 1,000.

Below is a list of prominent Kenyans who have been cremated.

  1. Wangari Mathai

Wangarĩ Muta Maathai was a renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Laureate.

She passed away in 2011 and was cremated on October 8, 2011 at Kariokor Crematorium, Nairobi.

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2. Kenneth Matiba

Kenneth Matiba was a Kenyan politician and an activist for democracy who passed away in April 15, 2018 at the Karen hospital.

He was cremated on April 27, 2018 at Langata Cemetery, Nairobi.


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3. John Macharia

John Macharia, the son of Kenyan media mogul SK Macharia passed away in 2018 at the Karen Hospital where he had been rushed to after a freak accident along the Southern bypass.

John Macharia
The late John Macharia,son to Royal media boss S.K Macharia

Mr Macharia was interred at the Lang’ata Cemetery Crematorium a week later according to sources. Only close family was present for the burial. It was a very low key event.

4. Jeremiah Kiereini

Jeremiah Kiereini the Kenyan billionaire joined list of Kenyans whose family opted for cremation after they died.

He died on May 13, aged 90 at his home in Nairobi and according to sources .

Jeremiah Kiereini

However his  family remained tight-lipped, about the cremation. A family friend confidentially revealed that it was Kiereini’s desire that he be cremated.

“It will be a very, very private affair and I am told the media is not allowed to attend. Apart from the close family members, I’m told only a few friends have been invited,” said the source. 

The billionaire was cremated on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

5. Githae Kiereini

The son to late Jeremiah Kiereini was also cremated in 2017 after he was found dead in his car at his home in Karen.

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