Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. (AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA)
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So some Africans are uncomfortable with the rise of cremations, long considered taboo but a growing necessity as migration to cities is crowding out graveyard space and producing a landless generation without cash for a funeral.Last month authorities in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, urged Kenyans to accept cremation amid a shortage of space at the public cemetery in the neighborhood of Lang'ata, where some bodies have been piled on top of others.The cremation last month of Kenneth Matiba, a former presidential candidate and once one of Kenya's wealthiest men, has provoked more talk of the practice as a not-so-terrible choice in a socially conservative country of over 48 million people where many landless people occupy crowded slums.Some people have inquired about cremation but have not gone through with it, said Stephen Musoke, operations manager at A Plus Funeral Management in the capital, Kampala. The company has organized the cremation of just one Ugandan since 2002, he said."A graveyard is an encumbrance, a big, big encumbrance," said Emma Ssekandi, a land broker in Kampala. Cremation is a viable alternative, he said, although he himself would rather be buried at his ancestral home.
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