14 August 2017

Malawi: Dead Woman 'Resurrects' in Ntcheu

Photo: Grace Kapatuka/Nyasa Times
Part of the crowd that gathered outside the house where Jana was kept.

Ntcheu — Fear has engulfed people of Bula Village, Traditional Authority Kwataine and surrounding areas in Ntcheu following the 'resurrection' of a 34-year-old woman who died on July 25, this year.

Large numbers of people from surrounding areas were seen Sunday morning flocking to the village to witness if this reappearance of the woman from the world of the dead was indeed a true story.

The 'formerly deceased" woman, identified as Liness Jana, was the centre of attraction on Sunday in the district.

When Mana visited the village, hundreds of people were seen pushing and shoving in a fine fight for space to attest to the modern and latter-day act of resurrection.

People crammed outside the house where Jana was kept demanding to see her, a development which angered family members who started whipping some of the members of the community that looked defiant.

Family members have since described the development as unusual and frightening saying they could not believe their eyes upon sight of their sister whom they buried on July 27, 2017.

Mary Sambi, a sister to Liness told Mana that her sister died at Ntcheu District Hospital on July 25, 2017.

"She used to complain of severe headache before she died and she was seven months pregnant by then. On July 24, we took her to Ntcheu District Hospital where she was admitted. We did not sleep that night because she complained of severe headache and kept on crying until the following morning when she passed on," Sambi said.

When asked if the 'resurrected' woman was indeed her sister, Sambi said she was the one and has not changed in any way.

"She is my young sister and there is no way I could miss her. If you ask her she can tell you that I am her sister. Ask her about her children, she will tell you everything because she is mentioning all them," the elder sister said.

According to Sambi, what has changed on Jana is that she is no longer pregnant and she is speaking fluent Yao, a development which surprised her since they do not speak Yao in the area.

"She is speaking fluent Yao mixed with Chichewa. I am really surprised that she is speaking Yao because this is a Ngoni area and what we speak most of the times is Chichewa," she wondered.

Jana, who was in a company of her family members the time this reporter visited the village, kept on smiling throughout the interview with family members.

When this reporter greeted her in Chichewa, Jana responded to say ndiri bwino kaya inu and did not waste time to code switch from Chichewa to Yao and spoke continuously in the latter language.

Liness Jana was seen a week ago by people from a nearby village loitering around Nsipe River, according to family members but they only managed to bring her home on July 12, 2017.

"People from the area had been calling us to say Liness was seen loitering around the area and we mobilized ourselves and visited the area.

"Unfortunately we did not manage to bring her home every time we visited the place since she was running away after seeing us," said Alfred Banda, a brother to Liness.

According to Banda, Jana used to mention the name of her epileptic daughter Deborah and the village where she comes from, a development which made the people from the area to recognize her and inform us.

Records at Ntcheu District Hospital Female Ward showed that Jana, who was diagnosed with meningitis, was indeed treated as in-patient in the ward on July 24, 2017 and died the following day around 11 pm.

"I remember the name and I recall everything that happened on the day since I was the one on night duty. She died on the night of 25 July, 2017 and we registered her case as a maternal death since she was seven months pregnant then," said the nurse who opted for anonymity.

The nurse, who looked amazed with the news that Jana had 'resurrected', confirmed to Mana that her dead body was collected from the mortuary on July 26, 2017.

Jana's death report was shown to Mana but the nurses did not allow the reporter to have a copy of it until permission was granted by her seniors who were not around by the time of interview.

Meanwhile, family members are keeping a close eye at Jana to ensure that her security is intact.

Her husband Tonesi Jana could not hide his happiness to Mana over the reunion with her beloved wife whom he kept on calling as Nambewe.

"I am happy that my wife is back. She is indeed the one and I really missed her because she left me with five children, one of whom is epileptic. Life was tough with me to have the five kids without a mother. I thank God that she is back," said Jana.

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