21 Nov 2016

Drama at Funeral as Angry Mourners Attack Photographers in Broad Daylight...You Won't Believe Why

Two photographers identified as Michael Gikonyo and Paul Kariuki have been beaten up black and blue at a funeral.
photo used for illustrative purpose only
SDE reports that the two men were beaten up for taking unsolicited photos of the mourners on Saturday.

It's an open secret that Kenyans go gaga over funerals. This is so much that some women have sadly turned these solemn occasions into a fashion show of sorts. It is at burials where some women, besides gossiping, now go to show off their latest fashion in clothes, shoes and hair styles.

It is this sad state of affairs that perhaps inspired the entrepreneurial duo of Michael Gikonyo and Paul Kariuki to start taking photos for sale at, of all the places, funerals in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

The duo has been making a killing by gatecrashing any social gathering with huge crowds, including burials and weddings, where they, without express permission from participants, take pictures, only to sell to owners later. Some of whom are forced engage in impulse buying of the photos, lest they land in bad hands.

Last Saturday, however, turned out to be a bad day at the office for freelance photographers. They gatecrashed a funeral and began snapping away, only for angry mourners to gang up and clobber them to pulp for taking unflattering photos of them.

"This has been a common trend around here, where random photographers stalk mourners from the mortuary to the venue of burial as they take pictures of them. Many people had been complaining, especially when unflattering pictures of themselves mourning are taken," said Bernard Kehenjo, a local familiar with the trend.

Emotions ran high when one of the photographers was spotted struggling to take best shots of overwhelmed mourners who were writhing on the ground after they collapsed with emotions.

"The guys had become a nuisance. In some instances, you would see them trail mourners with weird mourning styles as they snapped away. You would see them jog backwards as they struggled to take best of shots, something that infuriated some of the mourners," said Kehenjo.

According to the witness, one of the family members, a cousin to the deceased, went berserk the moment he saw the paparazzi struggling to take pictures of their kin who was rolling on the ground, wailing as she writhed in sorrow. Unknown to one of the paparazzi who was busy zooming his view finder, the angry mourner grabbed him by the collar and sprawled him on the ground and went hammer and tongs at him.

All of a sudden, other angry mourners descended on the photographer with kicks and blows and smashed his camera. The other photographer who was sticking some of the processed photos on the venue's gate for mourners to buy tried to slither from the scene in vain. The mourners cornered him, tore the pictures and subjected him to mob justice.

"When did they take this one?" A furious mourner is quoted to have quipped as she tore into pieces an unflattering picture of herself wailing at the mortuary. It was a few peace-loving mourners who rescued the bloodied duo.

The turn of events brought the funeral procession to a rude halt as attention momentarily shifted to the hapless paparazzi. Normalcy, however, returned after the ruckus and the funeral went on smoothly after the bloodied and limping photographers were thrown out of the venue.

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