In Ghana, Funerals Have Become Big Business

Insurers and entrepreneurs profit by helping stage lavish funerals
Price in Accra for an elaborate hand-carved casket in the shape of a catfish or soccer shoe: $1,171 Photograph by Samantha Reinders

Benjamin Aidoo has brought his dancing pallbearers to more than 200 funerals in Ghana, easing loved ones to their final resting places to the strains of everything from reggae to gospel music. “Customers say, ‘Papa loved dancing when he was alive, let him dance one more time,’ ” says 27-year-old Aidoo, who charges as much as 800 cedis ($387) a ceremony. “This is a new business where we dance the coffin to the grave instead of marching solemnly,” he says. Aidoo founded his business in 2010 and is now having to turn customers away.

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