8 February 2017

Ghana: Coffin Sellers Unhappy With Low Patronage

Coffin sellers in Accra have stated that although low mortality was good for the country, it was creating negative impact on their businesses, as people were not buying their coffins.

"Much as we are not praying for people to die, I must also confess that our livelihood is derived from the number of coffins we sell in the year", Mr Agyekum Darkwah Junior, a coffin seller told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Korle-Bu hospital during an interview.

'The market was not good last year as the nation recorded low deaths compared to previous years.'

The GNA carried out some interviews to find out how some businesses faired by the close of December 2016.

The interviews sought the views of dealers of goods and services around Korle-Bu, Kaneshie, Abeka Lapaz and Dansoman, with some coffin makers and sellers expressing their views on their sales for the year.

Mr Darkwah Junior said his capital had been locked up since patronage was low last year, adding that 'My only prayer is to get more buyers for my beautifully crafted caskets so as to make my investments fruitful this year.

"I have employed more than eight carpenters so if the market goes low, I would not be able to remunerate them", he said.

Stephen Kwame Addai, a coffin shop owner at Kaneshie, however, dismissed the notion that the business was quite "a diabolic one", as it thrived on more deaths.

He argued that as investors they would continue to pray for business to boom and that coffin sellers were like any other investors.

"We do not wish the death of our fellow human beings. Death, whether by vehicular accidents or sickness is natural", Mr Kwame Addai said.

Emmanuel Abankwaa, who works on coffins at Dansoman, meanwhile said the business was a legitimate source of income.

"We are not saying people should die but if they die, we cannot give them life, but can only help to facilitate their burial", he said.

The survey, which sought to ascertain how the coffin business was faring, also revealed that Fridays and Saturdays were major market days for the dealers.

Akorli Samuel, who deals in coffins at Lapaz, disclosed that he sold more than 30 coffins last week Friday and Saturday.

The coffin dealer, who has had 16 years experience in the business, explained that, mourners and families of the bereaved normally purchase his products on these particular days, for burial ceremonies.

"People do not usually buy coffins and keep them ahead of burials. To some people, coffins are not to be kept in anticipation of death", Mr Akorli noted.

He also encouraged the youth to embrace the venture and he prayed for an increase in the business and to make it very attractive.

"Parents should not discourage their children from entering the venture. It is truly a profitable one", he said.

The interviews revealed that the price of a coffins ranges from GH¢300 to GH¢10,000, depending on the size and materials used.

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