EXCLUSIVE| Funeral parlour helps family bury their loved one

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Two Mountains funeral services put Ubuntu before their business interests

Business owners recall that they are Africans before they’re entrepreneurs

Ubuntu is deeply rooted in African culture. Social cohesion has kept the African societies together. The western norms and cultures have weakened the bonds that used to tie Africans.  The outbreak of corona-virus furthered this gap even more by necessitating social distancing and isolation.

Nonetheless, South Africans continue to depict humanitarianism in the midst of the pandemic. It is no secret that most businesses are feeling the sting of COVID-19. However, the dominance of the pandemic over everything, did not deter Two Mountains Funeral Services from extending their hand and come to the aid of the Mandla family.

The Two Mountains Funeral Services, a burial company based in Gauteng Province in Germiston has shown acts of generosity to the Mandla family in their time of need. This came after the family was unable to bury their grandson, William Mandla (37) due to financial reasons.

“In my family no one is working, I am doing voluntary activism work and the family survives on social grant and because William did not have an identity document, the family was unable to open a funeral cover for him”, said Thabiso Mogapi, the family’s spokesperson speaking exclusively to SA Positive News.

Two Mountains Funeral Services – giving William Mandla a dignified send-off .

South Africa has an alarming rate of unemployment which in turn deters people from participating in things that they are entitled to, such as paying for funeral policies. The situation of the Mandla family comes as no surprise as this often happens in black communities.  “My cousin was unemployed, but did odd jobs”, revealed Mogapi.

South Africans have immense respect for the dead and firmly believe that they ought to be accompanied in a decent manner. However, this remains but a wish for families whose situation is that of, from hand to mouth, as a dignified funeral requires a reasonable amount of money.

“We heeded the cry of the Mandla family and decided to help the family and see to it that the gentleman gets a decent burial”, said Eric Ngidi, the company’s chief operating officer.

“It is unfortunate that many families are unable to provide a dignified funeral for their loved ones and after hearing the plight of the Mandla family, we stepped in to assist with full funeral service to lessen the  financial burden the family was facing”, added Ngidi.

However, helping families bury their loved ones with dignity seems to be the culture of Two Mountains Funeral Services. The company is not only confined in assisting in burial related issues. “Our CSI programmes enable us to do other things which are not related to funerals, we help families where we see the need” elaborated Ngidi.

He also made it clear and vowed that they will continue serving South Africans with quality funerals to make sure that their loved ones are sent off in a dignified manner.

The family did not only suffer the trauma of their grandson’s death but was also subjected to fear for their elderly people. “Most of family members are over 60 years and living with chronic illnesses, and this of course was putting them at risk for COVID-19 as community members kept on coming to comfort and pour words of condolences to the family”, said Mogapi.

 “I got a call from Two Mountains Funeral Services when I was least expectant; they have learnt of our situation from Godfrey Mphatswe’s Foundation and were willing to be of assistance to us and bury the deceased for free”.

“ The Two Mountains Funeral Services, came to our rescue just after we were turned down by the municipality as a result of not having funds for indigenous burial that they usually help the community with”, said Mogapi.

He further said that they were referred to a local hospital where they were sent to the social work department and after making known their situation to the person who attended them, it came to their knowledge that they were not in position to decide when the burial will take place but had to wait for the department to confirm the date. “This entire process was very traumatic for the family, especially the thought of having to wait for the department to confirm the burial date weighed too much on them”, added Mogapi.

William Mandla’s final resting place

 However, “The Two Mountains’ phone call changed our narrative and lifted the heavy weight that the family was carrying and their consistency, perfectionism and support strengthened the family”, shared Mogapi.

“The fact that none of this would not have happened without the help of Godfrey Mphatswe Foundation does not elude me”, said Mogapi. The Godfrey Mphatswe Foundation’s help came in handy for the Mandla family. The foundation learnt of what has befallen the family and disseminated the story on their website and social media pages.

As a result of social media’s wide use and efficacy the story landed on the eyes of Two Mountains Funeral Services employee who shared the story with the management. Fortunately, the management then saw it necessary to assist the family as their business thrives on helping people and making sure that people who are no more get a dignified send off.

“The company met our expectations and beyond as we needed assistance with the coffin and registering the deceased, therefore, we are truly grateful to Two Mountains for the dignified funeral they gave our beloved” concluded Mogapi.

By Vuyokazi Mdlungu

Images provided by the family