|‘Making a living at graveyard’|
|Saturday, 23 June 2012 22:05|
Sunday Leisure Reporter“THERE is brisk business in death and the graveyard is the best place to make a living,” says daring ice-cream men that have invaded one of the city’s largest cemeteries — West Park cemetery.
Over the past few months ice-cream men have found it easier to make money, selling ice cream at cemeteries, as they sit back and relax under the shade of a tree while families mourn their dear departed relatives.
“Business comes to us; there is no longer a need for us to move around in the neighbourhoods to find customers. And anyway it is not like we tamper with people’s emotions, it’s hot here and ice cream merely cools one down and calms emotions,” said a Lyons Maid ice-cream man.
This phenomenon beckons the old saying, “There are only two things you can count on in life: death and expenses.”
Everyone experiences death; death and expenses are an inevitable part of human life.
In African culture, death is a sanctified issue and it is handled delicately.
“I was surprised to see ice-cream men at the cemetery when we were burying my brother a few weeks ago. As much as I was in grief over the loss of my brother I was shocked to see these men selling ice cream at the cemetery. For them to think they can make a living at a graveyard is totally unethical and uncultured. We appreciate very much that they are trying to make a living but they should seek fortune elsewhere. This is a place of rest for the dead and we should respect that,” said Elton Sibanda.
While Sibanda shared an ethical insight into the issue, other people like Barbra Dube had this to say: “It’s not like these people are celebrating the death of our loved ones. They are just trying to eke out a living and obviously they target places where people gather. There are young children as well in attendance; they don’t understand death and ice cream can get their minds of the worry and stress of death.”
Sunday Leisure last week paid a visit to the cemetery and found that ice-cream men were indeed making a “killing” out of the dead.
Several of them had strategically placed themselves within and around the vicinity of the graveyard.
It was also observed that those who had been done burying their departed were the ones who bought ice cream.
“It is sad to lose someone but ice cream has certain ingredients that give you refreshing feelings that just help you forget your worries,” said a man who declined to be named.
The ice-cream men normally arrive at the cemetery at around 10am and leave by 2-3pm after they have sold all their ice cream.