The Customs And Cost At Ghanaian Funerals

Feature Article The Customs And Cost At Ghanaian Funerals
MAY 18, 2018 LISTEN

There are videos of Ghanaian funeral ceremonies and the Akan and Ewe (most of Ghana) that I have witnessed makes me sick!

I have heard an unemployed niece being asked to pay Ghc 5,000 as her contribution to the funeral cost of her father who did not even take care of her after birth!

For God's sake what is wrong with us Africans?
Having lived and witnessed many customs from India, China, and Euro-American customs, I come home to Ghana and witness a people living in utter chaos, with not even city planning and witness dangers on our roads, filth and dangerously unhealthy environments that create diseases and shorten peoples lives! Nobody seems in charge of these issues in Ghana that breed what we know in Science and common knowledge as disease germs, mosquitoes, that kill and maim children and adults! What is wrong with us!!

A friend wrote on a forum of old Prempeh College School mates of mostly retired age:

"I don't mind.,,,Sometimes I just ignore all those concerns and go along with it"!

My response and comments to share:
This idea of "Professional mourners" and pall bearers dancing with coffin on their heads through dusty streets in rural towns makes me so sick to my stomach I would speak against it if I were President and discourage that culture! In fact any opportunity I get I will speak against that culture! At my age I owe it to society and those behind to point these out!

Let us learn to help the sick and aged poor, and plan to offer some social assistance when we can, perhaps prolong their lives a little with some joy in that age. America does this with small payroll and other planned contributions, instead of wait till the person dies before we borrow money and task the children left behind with huge sometimes unmanageable bills for funerals! They call it in Ghana here "fitting burial"! I call it nonsense!

It is absolute nonsense and a disgrace, if you ask me, how we behave when somebody dies, but totally ignore the sick and needy! Our Presidents and Vice Presidents even travel overseas for medical care - they know their lives are precious but won't put any policies in place to get rid of the obvious causes of many diseases in Ghana: THE UGLY OPEN GUTTERS!!

In places like Madina where plots are small size, gutters are right in front of and within less than 10 feet of kitchens and bedrooms of these homes!

What are we doing about it? Are our elected officials totally unaware?

I went to my mothers grave in Abetifi last year and saw all these $3-5,000 toombstones and yet this rich town, like others in Ghana, cannot have clean nicely landscaped cemetery with flowers! Come oooon!! What is wrong with the black man???

Total disgrace!!
The average life expectancy of Ghanaians, and other African nations, is about 57-59 while humans in Europe and North America, Japan, Singapore, and other modern nations is around 77-80 years! Please don't tell me about the outliers! My aunt is 105 years old and hope to see her soon on this trip.

UN statistics also show the Under-5 Mortality rate, the children dying before age 5, is about 97 per 1,000 in Ghana, whiles it is about 7-8 in UK and the USA and even better at 4 in Singapore! (Ref: Danso, K.A., Leadership Concepts snd the Role of Government in Africa, p.150).

We also know about 275 people die of malaria every day, and I heard some sad statistics on GBC24 news in Ghana last week that there 300 babies die every single day during delivery!

Where is the conscience of our elected leadership!! Where is Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo?

There comes an age when we all need to stand up and evaluate our society with educated and researched opinions for us as a people to:

1. Cut out certain traditions to the size of our own living budgets.

2. Push our government to learn to plan a budget and cut government spending and stop borrowing money to spend!

3. Stop incurring huge expenses trying to please society to conform to traditions, and take care of the living first instead.

4. Government should amend the 1992 Constitution and cut back some of the constitutional powers of the President appointing more than 3,000 Ministers, MMCEs and town mayors, and let our people learn, in towns and districts, to Plan and Budget and take care of the living people, develop roads and schools, landscape and beautify their towns and hence live cleaner and enhance their own lives! We must learn to take responsibility as all humans should do!

Thank you all.
God has blessed our country but we need to learn to plan, take destiny in our hands and plan as we pray, and allow God to keep blessing Ghana!

From East Legon, Accra, Ghana
Dr. K. Danso, May 18, 2018