Fancy caskets

“This is the second most important event in my life after my funeral”, my Congolese friend told me at his graduation from seminary.

As surprising as this statement was, I should have expected it. Funerals are a big deal wherever we have worked in Africa. I saw Africans bumped from a once-a-week flight without complaining because it was to make room for a man and his wife going to his father’s funeral. Church leaders sometimes denounce the amount of money sometimes spent on lavish funerals.

It was in Accra, Ghana that I found the most colorful funeral accoutrements. There, a few casket makers specialize in caskets made in a form that reflects the profession of the deceased. Customers can pick from a selection of ready-made caskets in a variety of forms, or special order one in a form which will commemorate the deceased. And, yes, they do bury them.

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