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There was drama in Mhondoro at a funeral in Chivero area when mourners took to their heels after the corpse opened its eyes during the body viewing session.

The spine-chilling incident reportedly took place last week in Headman Koroka’s kraal, at the funeral of Tawanda Koroka (39). The deceased reportedly pulled a shocker when he suddenly opened his eyes whilst his lifeless body was lying in coffin during body viewing session. However, friends and relatives who were queuing to pay their final tribute to their departed fellow could not stand the ‘miracle’ and ran for dear life. One of the mourners was heard shouting “Tawanda amuka! (uTawanda sevukile) (Tawanda has resurrected)”.

In a matter of microseconds, fear had engulfed the entire homestead and there was stampede by the door as mourners jostled to take cover. During the chaos some people even pushed and fell on top of the deceased as the room had suddenly become too scary to accommodate anyone. Women were also heard crying and screaming for help.

Ishmael Koroka (57), father to the deceased, confirmed that his dead son’s eyes opened during body viewing session – an incident that shocked many villagers in Mhondoro.

“My son died last week after succumbing to sickness that emanated from his right hand. Panguva yekuwonekedzana naye ndipo paakasvinura, kuita semupenyu ndokuzobwaira maziso (Ngesikhathi sokuvalelisana laye yikho avulakhona amehlo, wenza njengomuntu ophilayo, wacwayiza). He opened his eyes for the whole day. On the day that he mate his fate I had accompanied him to and from the Marisamhuka clinic,” he said.

He added that Twanda died in his presence after he (the father) had gone to spend a night at his son’s place. The deceased’s wife was said to be in Norton and Tawanda was left to look after their little child in Mhondoro.

“Upon realising that Tawanda had opened his eyes, mourners got shocked and stormed the door to take cover. There was a heated argument later on as some family members suggested that he should not be buried anymore since he had ‘risen’. Others said the incident didn’t matter, and should not affect the burial proceedings,” said the deceased’s father.

According to the Shona tradition, after he died, the body was cleaned and dressed for burial and the deceased’s eyes were closed throughout out the process. He is said to have opened his eyes at around 12 midday during body viewing session, just before burial.

Tawanda’s mother, Susan Koroka (58) also confirmed the incident. “Since I was crying I noticed the mishap but I couldn’t understand what it meant,” she said.

Tawanda’s lifeless body was left alone in the house after fear stole mourners’ hearts. At that time, close family members reportedly went to consult a traditional healer who explained the meaning of the queer mishap.

“We were informed that indeed the deceased had opened his eyes. This was because he was bitter that his wife had secured a job in Norton, a development that made him live like a widower. We were advised on what to do and we did just that after which he then closed his eyes. I personally witnessed everything as the father of the deceased,” said Tawanda’s father.

He said according to the African tradition, a dead person communicates with people in various ways.

“By merely opening his eyes, it really meant something, and we were told the meaning. Vamwe vanomira mimvuri, kukurumbidza kunhuwa, kushama muromo, kuzvimba kwemitumbi (Abanye baba yizithunzi, bekhuphe iphunga masinyazana, ukuvuvuka kwesisu), and there are other different ways that the deceased can employ to communicate with us,” he added.



  • Sue says:

    I guess they buried this man alive. A dead man is just that – dead.

  • OBSERVER says:

    Reflex that’s all. Dead do these things and more…even passing gas after being pronounced. Good laugh 2 raas runnnnn :ngakak

  • Oh Dear says:

    People are afraid of what they dont understand / the unknown!

  • Annadiva says:

    Poor ting dem – it is just rigor mortis which is why the eyes are sewn down for a substantial period of time prior to burial. They obviously did not follow the correct in tombing procedure or it was just purely bad luck. The eye closed when the rigor was released from the muscle. Dem too funny! DWL!

  • Berry says:

    Mi cyah help but to :ngakak . I can only imagine if mi did deh deh. Dat woulda highlight the story more than di dead eye dem weh open up.

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