K24 news anchor Eric Njoka, who also works as a mortician in his family business, has opened up on his worst experiences as a mortuary attendant.
“Worst experience to date is receiving children,” Njoka said.
“I can’t stand looking at dead children, and more so their parents. It is hard to face the relatives. You have to be kind to them and at least have them for counselling sessions.”
The business was set up by his late father, who wanted people from his area to benefit from the facility.
However, according to the journalist, he never envisioned himself working with the dead, although his dad wanted him to be a doctor.
“My late dad set up the mortuary when I was in high school but he did not tell us what exactly he was setting up. Instead he told us it was hospital. My mum was very okay and my dad wanted to help the community.
“He was a businessman and he really wanted me to be a doctor. He never trusted me as a journalist but one afternoon, I was put on air and his friends told him and since then, he appreciated my career as a journalist, but asked to me to never forget our home business.”
“After high school, I really didn’t care and I was not so sure about my career. My dad went to school and studied without anyone’s knowledge. I mean even my mum did not know what he was doing. He was a secretive person. He (Njoka’s dad) assigned my mum to train me and I as well interacted with the attendant,” Njoka said.
The first client Njoka attended to was his uncle.
“It was not so easy at first. I was so afraid of seeing a dead body, the other attendants guided me and told me to relax. I was ambitious and wanted to prove my dad right. I could not sleep for some days. It was hard for me,” he said.
“Now my parents are dead and they left the mandate to us. We take care of the business. When my dad passed away, I attended to him. It was too much to work for our mum, so we assigned other morticians,” Njoka said.
Morticians are said to be abusing certain drugs, but Njoka says that is the wrong perception.
“For those people who work there, it is a stereotype that every mortician has to be on drugs; it is a fallacy. Yes, there are those who want to be under them but for all our attendants, none has been using drugs.”
The worst case Njoka has had as a mortician is holding a corpse for so long due to family disputes.