Business in Ghana

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Wasting money on the dead

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 14, 2009

It is almost universally acknowledged that Ghanaians adore the dead and will commit so much to performing expensive and flamboyant funeral rites. This practice is as old as the earliest history books and contemporary as the morning newspapers.  The dimension which contemporary Ghanaian funerals have assumed over the last decade gives much cause for concern – if not downright worry. Whilst in other parts of the world people are busily working hard, sometimes 7 days in a week, we in Ghana spend time on the non-essentials – celebrating the 3rd day, one week, fortieth day celebrations and final funeral rites of the dead. Surprisingly, from the President to the Unit Committee Chairman, every politician attends a funeral almost every weekend. Consciously or unconsciously, we seem to measure the efficiency of a minister or Member of Parliament by the number of funerals he/she attends every weekend!

By Appiah Kusi Adomao

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3 Responses to “Wasting money on the dead”

  1. Parliament should take up important matters like the sinking economy, the spiraling cedi, the murders on our highways, the armed robbery, ways to get our school kids to learn how to read, the drug menace and leave personal decisions to individuals. When your relative dies, you can bury him/her like a pauper. Our lawmakers must use their time sensibly and stop wasting tax payers money by discussing non essentials.

  2. Thank you so much for this article. Funerals have indeed become outrageous and a very expensive issue especially for those of us abroad. We have family members in Ghana demanding we bring the bodies home when some of these individuals have absolutely nothing to their names and have families (children) who could and will benefit from the money we spend sending the bodies home. This must surely stop. If the person is dead, let’s do the best we can to give them a decent burial but not to expend all cost to make sure they rest in peace. Bringing the bodies to Ghana does not give this person a peaceful rest (they are already dead, the spirit is no longer alive). Put these demands to rest please.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think it is up to the government to determine what should and should not be done for one’s funeral. However, it is up to the government to determine whether it is necessary for them to invest so much time and energy fluenting these funerals. I understand they want the votes of the people and so they think they must attend. But please do the job you are elected to do and don’t waste time going to funerals that will not necessary prove beneficial to you or the nation. It is high time we put the country first and not our own agendas.

  3. Antoinette said

    I agree, it is about time we Ghananians start putting our priorities right, for a Ghanaian decendant who was born and lives abroad, I can hardly recall the number of times I am contacted to contribute towards a celebration of a birthday or a new born baby, however the requests for donations towards funerals are endless, for relatives who I hardly know or who don’t even know my name. It is a biblical principal that you reap what you sow, if we continue as a nation to sow our hard earned time and resources in barren ground, then we would continue to reap the never ending harvest of death. Brethren lets start sowing seeds of life.

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