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A study to explore the impact of cremation against Zulu people's cultural belief system.

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Cremation is a widely unpopular practice throughout African culture, especially among the Zulu people as discussed in the novel, Intando KaMufi. Africans at KwaZulu Natal are still battling to familiarize themselves with the practise of cremation, the act of laying to rest a deceased person by burning their body remains in the crematorium. The government through national newspapers has put up a lot of effort to familiarise people within eThekwini and the country in general, with the practice of cremation. However, most of Zulus in KwaZulu Natal still view cremation as a curse and something that totally challenges their culture as portrayed in the selected novel, Intando KaMufi. According to the Zulu culture, there is a strong belief that death is not the end. A departed person enters the afterlife stage and becomes a saviour for the family (Zwane, 2011). Such a person is referred to as idlozi, the ancestor which they respect the most. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of cremation to the Zulu people’s belief systems. The study proposes that individuals must be educated and updated about the impression of cremation before they are exposed to it. It is also prominent for this study to review various studies conducted by other scholars and views from different countries of different continents. The data for the study is a sample drawn in the novel, Intando KaMufi. It is about the huge family conflict because of the practice of cremation. One side of the family opts for cremation while the other side denies. Astonishingly, events result when the members of the family plots to kill one another. The researcher believes that this work is necessary and imperative since it aims to caution and educate people on presumptions of crenature so that they will be able to make an informed decision around the matter of cremation. Postmodern theory with its perspective is applied to view the data while conducting the study. Conclusive facts and recommendations are asserted at the end of the studys.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.