The fact that she was brutally murdered was bad enough to generate prolonged tears among her people. But like what happens with everyone else with death, they, too, would have somehow dried up along the way.
But to have her own uncle, a brother to her own biological father as a perpetrator to the atrocity, is something that will be left woven into the fabric of their entire lives.
This was the general feeling one would have easily got on Wednesday at Kuntamba Village in Dedza during the reburial of the remains of Enelesi Nkhata, a young albino lady who was brutally murdered in March last year.
She had been initially buried in a field of Mpale Estate at Madisi, Dowa by her assailants until her remains were exhumed on Tuesday by the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) in conjunction with various government agencies who had always wanted to accord her a proper burial.
The said uncle is currently in police custody with his ten other accomplices in the crime.
But once the police van carrying her remains neared her home village on Wednesday, fear, disbelief and grief filled the air as communities wandered after it.
To them, it was a fresh funeral; and understandably so.
Uncontrollable wailing, shock, church officiation and eulogies all were on show. It was a fully-fledged funeral. But one of its kind as far as the local standards there were concerned. Residents confirmed to The Nation that never had they seen such a high-powered state delegation accompanying a funeral.
At Enelesi’s, they included the Deputy Inspector of Police responsible for Operations Rodney Jose who came with over a dozen other police officers, District Commissioners for Lilongwe and Dedza, Senior Chief Kaphuka, Directors from the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare and APAM president, Overstone Kondowe; among others.
But it was during the eulogies that the wails and boos were heard a lot.
Village Headman Kuntamba set the tone when she described how the deceased was murdered. Unlike the other mourners, she -together with Enelesi’s grandmother -had the chance to view the remains of their kindred since they were the only ones from the village to witness the exhumation the previous day.
Jose, the DCs, and Ntaba all spoke, doing their part to condone the atrocities against persons with albinism in the country. This was before Kondowe gave a very emotional speech which further stirred the emotions of the mourners. Even men -who are usually billed to be emotionally strong -broke in tears.
“Why have we been reduced to be hunted like animals by our own people,” he said, amid tears himself.
“And yet we come from the same guys who kill us. In the case of Enelesi, none of her mother and father were albinos. and yet they had two albino daughter one of which we have all gathered here for. What is wrong with us, people?”
Meanwhile, government has pledged unwavering support towards the education of Zione, a young sister to Enelesi who is said to be in Form 2. Ntaba gave the assurances in response to the demands the surviving family made to his committee, fearing she can face a similar fate to her murdered sister.
Group village headman Makoko’s words summed the day up in a post-burial interview, “She “[Enelesi] might have died alone in the wilderness, but now it is a bit relieving knowing that she is finally buried like a king among her own people here. We thank all the stakeholders involved and wish them well, today and always!”
Since 2014, about 18 albinos deaths and 42 other cases of various atrocities including abductions have have been recorded across the country.