Why I built my own tomb- Kimaro

Why I built my own tomb- Kimaro
Patrick Kimaro's grave

A Tanzanian man shocked his village by building his own grave in preparation for his death.

Patrick Kimaro, 59, says his family has accepted his decision. This is, however, viewed by the community as a bad omen.

Traditional leaders from Mr. Kimaro’s ethnic group in the Kilimanjaro region; say a grave should not be dug in anticipation of death.

Mr. Kimaro, who works as a policeman; however, said he started building his grave in January; to cushion his family from high funeral expenses when he dies.

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“Being a first-born child, I had difficulty burying my parents when they died six months apart. I decided I will not take my children through the same experience.”

However, Kimaro plans to set aside money for his casket. He, however, believes his family will raise money for other related expenses after his death.

Similarly, Kimaro is planning to take insurance for his grave in the event of natural calamities like flooding.

The preparation of the grave, as well as its exquisite finishing, cost him a total of $3,000 (£2,200).


Mr. Kimaro’s home security guard says neighbors have stopped visiting since the grave was dug within the compound.

Some family members have, however, got used to the grave, and sit around it to chat.

African tradition

Many Africans have built personal tombs. Although, it is not the tradition in Africa; the building of private tombs is popular among rich Africans.

The early Egyptians built tombs for many generations. Many of such tombs are tourist attractions for foreigners.

In the ancient Benin Kingdom; the building of family tombs is a sign of affluence. Unfortunately, this tradition is discarded.

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Kimaro, a policeman; will maintain his tomb.

About The Author

Chuks Ofurum is a staff of 1ST NEWS. He writes the weekly column "The Mouthpiece". [email protected]

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