Surely no rest for the dearly departed
A recent visit to the Old Location Cemetery steered an emotion in me. Tyre tracks were visible over the graves of Thomas Shihuro and Asnath Kuhanga, both presumably residents of the then Old Location, judging by the dates on which both passed away inscribed on the grave.
Who do the tyre tracks belong to is a mystery given that the cemetery is currently in use, could it be the company tasked with keeping the cemetery clean or City of Windhoek officials who occasionally inspect the cemetery or even grave diggers and undertakers or possibly some deranged person?, Because surely you will not be of a sound mind if you can drive over the grave of someone.
Granted, a walk through the graveyard will have you asking yourself whether you are walking over someone’s grave. There are no clear boundaries in some parts of the cemetery apart from a drive way that leads to the chapel, the very old parts of the cemetery have graves neatly arranged the one after the other judging by the numerous headstones and crosses. A dilapidated building that I assumed should have been a museum of sorts, I say this because of the furniture on display.
As soon as you enter the cemetery you would have taken a journey through time. Old gravestones appear one after the other, and beautifully erected also there. Truth be told the cemetery is in immaculate condition and is well taken care of I would say, apart from the people who carelessly drive over unmarked graves and the clearly marked graves of Thomas Shihuro and Asnath Kuhanga.
And these are just two individuals among many more. Its ironic because just a few metres away lies the grave of veteran struggle hero Moses IIGaroeb. Does society not have respect for the departed?.
The Old Location is an important piece of history that should be taken care of. It ought to be cherished. More important is a need to respect the departed. We will all surely move on from this world and the vast majority of us, will be buried. The onus lies on the individuals tasked with managing the cemetery to look after it and ensure deranged individuals do not do as they please. Thomas Shihuro and Asnath Kuhanga are long gone, whether their descendants are aware of happening is a mystery to both you and me. Thomas and Asnath may not be aware of what is happening on their final resting places but they should be afforded the proper dignity.
One question one ought to ask is how you would have felt had that been a close relative of yours. Would you like it if I drove over your father’s grave. What if I happily sat on your mother’s gravestone, far more worse, what if I stepped on your little brother’s gravestone because I thought it wise to make my journey shorter taking a short cut through the cemetery. I will revert back to what I touched and raise the challenge to the individuals who manage the cemetery, presumably the City of Windhoek to ensure tyre tracks are not to be found not only in the Old Location Cemetery but in all the three other cemeteries it is tasked to manage. I would also confidently assume that this practice is being repeated at the Golgota and Oponganda Cemeteries with the exception of the Khomasdal and Gammams Cemeteries.
More importantly, the maniacs that do this should stop the very shameful practice and honour the individuals who are buried there.