The late Prof George Magoha’s family was surrounded by loved ones as they said goodbye to their beloved relative. The family’s in-laws from Nigeria were particularly prominent, as they made a fitting tribute to Magoha in the form of a unique funeral procession.
As the hearse carrying Magoha’s body left the Lee Funeral Home, four men dressed in all white stood by the vehicle. The four men lifted wooden rods over the vehicle for a few moments before moving to the back of the car, leading the way for the procession to the Starehe Boys’ Centre.
At the entrance of the school, the in-laws conducted a second ritual, this time joined by women dressed in traditional Nigerian attire. The four men danced and chanted dirges, leading the group in a celebratory display of mourning.
Nigerian Funeral Traditions
According to Nigerian funeral customs, white and red are the preferred colors for funerals. The men wear all-white, while the women wear blue kitenge dresses with red headscarves.
Nigerian funerals are also marked by music, singing, and dancing, as they believe that these activities improve the deceased’s chances of a better afterlife. This was certainly the case for Magoha, who lived a long and successful life. The mood was celebratory, as the in-laws paid tribute to a man who touched so many lives.
As the hearse drove away, the in-laws remained, dancing to the beat of traditional drummers. It was a fitting tribute to a man who lived life to the fullest, and a celebration of a life well lived.