Pemba village, located in Chief CHIKUWE’s area of Chipangali District, witnessed scenes of confusion and tension during the burial ceremony of Joseph Lungu, a member of the Gulewamkulu traditional dance group who tragically lost his life after being bitten by a black mamba.
The unfortunate incident occurred around 06:00 hours on Wednesday as the Gulewamkulu members were preparing for a performance. The burial, which took place today (Friday, January 26, 2024), was marked by disorder, particularly sparked by the controversial decision of some family members to display the deceased snake to mourners.
As the family attempted to showcase the venomous snake, a dispute erupted among mourners, leading to physical altercations. One family member reportedly resorted to beating those who sought to catch a glimpse of the snake. Elder members present at the ceremony eventually intervened, managing to calm the situation and conclude the burial program.
Joseph Lungu was laid to rest with the snake that took his life , adding an unusual and controversial element to the traditional burial proceedings.
Expressing concern over the increasing frequency of such incidents, Joseph Lungu’s grandfather, Josphat Banda of Mchenga village, called upon local Indunas and headmen to brief Chief Chanje, the caretaker of Chikuwe chiefdom, about the concerning events unfolding in the area. The plea underscores the need for community leaders to address and mitigate potential risks associated with traditional practices, ensuring the safety and well-being of community members