One man's death can be another's ticket to riches
Two Saturdays ago, I took a familiar trip to the north of Zululand in the company of a friend.
We had been deprived of views of the majestic mountains by a wet, murky blanket that imposed its darkness for the most part of our travel. My gaze was locked on the road, knowing the possibility of my car suddenly sinking into one of the huge potholes that complement the dangerous curves of Route 66.
Our relief came almost halfway through our return trip to Empangeni when the mist dissipated and the rain suddenly stopped. We could now appreciate just how steep our descent was as we continued winding blindly around hills on the wet tar.
Sam Smith had tired of whining about his heartbreak in soprano when I negotiated a sharp left and plunged right under the buttocks of a stationary bus. The car screamed as we stared into the 5cm between our windscreen and the end of the bus.
This was my first accident in the driver's seat. You would expect that I am worried that I am currently without a car and back to mastering maths literacy in the front seats of Quantums. Not even, I'm actually quite good at sums and know to always take my own change first. My biggest worry is I almost died without a measly funeral cover. Just imagine.
I mean ... I'm black, and you know a funeral literally means the last fancy party the family affords. Now when you are my age with a history of employment, society expects that you are covered and will be laid in a fancy casket with extra cushioning and gold trimmings, and there will be enough fried chicken drumsticks for the very, very important church leadership delegation.
But thankfully, our families are always prepared for the moment of death of yet another family member who spent all her money buying fancy shoes instead of joining a masingcwabisane. I too would have been the subject of that meeting where siblings and relatives gather to declare the lowest possible portion of cash they can contribute towards my burial from the monies claimed from a funeral cover in my name.
A cousin to contribute R3 000 and paint the house in preparation for Christmas. An aunt to pay for the tent and chairs and pay off the Woolies credit card debt. Someone will help with the groceries and save some for the school fees next year.
Contribute, and pocket some.
Then the one uncle who demanded that the initial funeral date be postponed to accommodate his work shifts will not contribute a cent towards the burial. Then on the Monday morning, he will ask for the death certificate because he wants "to justify all the leave days he took off work". He will be upgrading his Corolla soon. I should not complain, it's their monies they paid into those instalments all along.