Enos Chebi: “I Wear The Tag Of A Mortician As A Crown Of Honour”

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Enos Chebi has worked as a mortician for over 12 years. [Photo|Dennis Onsongo|Nation.Africa]

Enos Chebi has been working as a mortician for over 12 years. While it is a job that many cannot have a paucity of thought in taking it, Chebi has the gusto in making sure bodies are handled and treated perfectly and professionally. He works at the Chiromo Funeral Parlour and handles hundreds of bodies monthly. What more? He says the job has earned him a decent living and has plans to specialise in forensic science in future.

Here is the story of the mortician as told by WoK.

Learnt the skill from his grandfather

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The mortician studied livestock health but developed an interest in his current job from his grandfather. The grandpa was the only mortician in the village and used traditional methods of body preservation. When he was still a teenager, Chebi handled the first body thanks to the senior who imparted the skills on him.

“My grandfather was the only mortician in our village, and he was keen to pass on his skills to me. From him, I learnt the basics of body preservation. I would watch him inject the body with formalin at various parts,” Chebi told Nation.Africa.

After the death of the grandfather, Chebi decided to fill his shoes and enrolled for a certificate course at University of Nairobi. He later pursued a diploma course in the same field.

Stereotypes

His decision was warmly embraced by the family members but some of his friends could not fathom out the reason behind his choice. He points out that there are various misconceptions held about morticians. For example, it is generally thought that morticians are drug abusers. Additionally, Chebi says that in his community, it is a taboo to handle dead bodies and people who do sohave to be ‘cleansed.’

I come from a community where death is a taboo subject. Those who interact with the dead are regarded as unclean, and require traditional cleansing but that has never deterred me. In fact, I wear the tag of a mortician as a crown of honour,” he said in a past interview.

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Career

The mortician details that his profession entails admission, embalming, reconstruction and postmortem dissections. He previously worked at Butula Mission Hospital (Busia County), PCEA Kikuyu and Montezuma Monalisa Funeral Home. Chebi has perfected his skill and even orients UoN first year medical students to the field of anatomy. He teaches them dissection and reconstruction of cadavers.

According to him, he can handle up to 15 bodies a day. He takes pride in receiving words of gratitude from bereaved families. But what is his pay? Chebi says he earns a decent living out of his job and has even paid school fees for his siblings.

“The more procedures you perform, the higher the pay. The institution’s pay rates also matter, but you can earn a decent livelihood from it. I eat, dress and basically live off my salary,” he says.

Read also: Dr. Nyumu Mwangi: Accomplished Medic Helping Patients Suffering From Hearing Loss

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