Tanzanian man on why he spent $3,000 to build his own grave

Francis Akhalbey February 16, 2022
Patrick Kimaro has caused a stir in his village after he built his own grave -- Photo Credit: BBC

A 59-year-old Tanzanian policeman who spent $3,000 to build his own grave said he doesn’t want to burden his family with too many funeral expenses when he dies. According to BBC, Patrick Kimaro’s decision to build his grave – even though he’s still alive – has caused a stir in his village.

Kimaro’s action is reportedly considered a bad omen in his community. And traditional leaders from his ethnic group said it’s not allowed for graves to be dug before a person’s death. They also said a grave shouldn’t be unoccupied for too long.

But Kimaro said his family is gradually coming to terms with his decision. “Being a first-born child, I had a difficult time burying my parents when they died six months apart… so I decided I’ll not take my children through the same [experience],” the 59-year-old explained. He also said he initiated the project in January.

Besides building his own grave, Kimaro also said he’ll provide money for his casket. He added that he believes the assistance he’s providing will help cut costs his family will incur for his funeral. And to make sure his grave is intact, he said he has plans of taking an insurance policy that will protect it against natural disasters like flooding.

Kimaro’s home security guard also told BBC Swahili neighbors have avoided entering the property following the construction of the grave. However, a number of Kimaro’s relatives are now more relaxed about the site of the grave as they now sit around it to chat.

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