In our correspondence from African journalists, Ghanaian journalist Elizabeth Ohene sees what would happen after the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
If there was one who was to be called “world-famous” it was Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
After her death, she agreed that the world had a lot to learn from her chaotic life and the cheap way to bury her.
In Ghana, world funeral home, however, the feeling was heartbreaking and amazing that such a famous person could die and be buried in less than a week and with so little excitement.
We have been pondering our reaction to the death of such a famous person. He would not be buried within six days of his death.
It would take a long time for the family to agree on a delegation that would go to the president to inform the president of the country’s tragic death.
We watched in disbelief as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the death without a foundation in a room filled with grieving relatives, appropriately dressed in black.
Then came the shocking news of the Anglican Church’s announcement of details of the funeral, as the archbishop asked. Of course, everyone knows that your funeral will not be counted as soon as you die.
I once attended a meeting when the family of a former Ghanaian judge came to announce his death to the president.
The family head said the late judge had left a note of how he wanted his funeral to be conducted.
He asked to be buried within two weeks of his death; however, the day he went to announce it came three weeks after his death.
All you need to do is give them an outlet and the support they need to keep going.
Therefore, Tutu’s advice on petty funerals would have been ignored and we would have given him what we call these “proper burials”.
He would not be placed in a box of pine trees.
Then it would be necessary for a special cloth to be made with the image of the archbishop and it would take time.
There will be a black-and-red dress to wear on the day of the funeral and a black and white color to wear on Sunday for the Thanksgiving service.
Thousands of people need to be fed
We tried to place orders for fabric in a local factory, but it could end up in China. Our tailors and tailors would be very busy.
Funeral committees should be formed – sub-committees responsible for hospitality – terms similar to food and drink, which always play a large part in funeral expenses.
For someone like Tutu, thousands of people may need to be fed. Covid approval would be made and reluctantly large tables loaded with food were left and we would provide bulk cargo instead.
The dissemination committee will ensure that large posters bearing pictures of the archbishop are erected in all major sections in all cities.
The committee overseeing the funeral arrangements will release a 100-page glittering booklet with a history and tribute from world leaders and their roommates. Yes, there will be photographs of 90 years of prosperity.
It takes time for us to submit this booklet – no one can reach the deadline to submit their tax returns. Combining knowledge of death requires an uncanny ability, which if not managed properly can lead to marital discord.
The idea of having just one choir at the ceremony is unbearable and we would have many choirs and musicians perform, even if the program lasted four hours.
It could mean that the corpse should be kept in the morgue for three months for the procedure to be established, but it would be a very short time to keep the corpse without showing that you are burying it.
The experience of a line of Anglican clergymen wearing their robes and carrying Tutu’s coffin was a success but we think we can improve on that with our famous singers and dancers making a show.
Funerals should be a demonstration.
We might have accepted his invitation the body being aquamated, simply indicating that we care about the needs of the environment.
But we believe that when death comes, we in Ghana should be asked to provide a proper funeral.
We are the world leaders at funerals and we are excited to share our expertise.