“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.