…Some mourn, others smile to bank
By Fred Ezeh and Abigail
News of death, either sudden or otherwise, sends a strong feeling of shock, depression and sadness to people.
In Nigeria and perhaps in other countries of the world, the dead receives different treatment based on class, religion, affluence, gender, personal belief, culture and other factors that can determine the kind burial one receives.
However, the closest to the deceased feels the pain more than distant friend, neighbours or colleague, even though the latter shows concern. That justifies the saying that “someone’s corpse is seen as log of wood by another”.
Notwithstanding, death remains enemy to all, but an inevitable debt that all must pay, either at old or younger age, hence the need to be prepared at all time.
As an inevitable debt, death has been visiting people in different ways and means including accident, sickness and disease. But whatever the case maybe, death remains an orphan that no one wants to associate with.
While some people detest the news of death, others have taken it upon themselves to associate with the dead by providing a platform for the deceased to have eternal rest, thus making great fortune out of the dead.
Merriam Webster dictionary defined casket or coffin as a box in which a dead person is buried. The casket which comes in different sizes, shapes and colours is designed in bed form, so as to provide comfort for the decease to rest in peace after years on hard work on earth, as the case maybe.
Daily Sun Metro confirmed this in Abuja recently after a fact finding mission to a furniture market in Kugbo area of Abuja, where caskets and other burial activities are planned for different kind of people, with regard to class, age and other silent factors that determines the worth of burial of an individual.
Several of the casket makers in Kugbo furniture market in Abuja rushed to our correspondents with hope that a customer has arrived. Many of them use different tricks to attract patronage. While discussion was ongoing with a salesman, others were busy from far end of their workshop silently beckoning on our correspondent to come make choice from variety of caskets that were displayed to the view of all.
One of them, who identified himself as Okechukwu, told our correspondent that the business of casket making remains the best choice of business for him despite the minor discrimination from people who see him as having relationship with the dead.
He said that he learnt the business from his elder brother whom shortly after graduating from school encouraged him to join the business, with promises and conviction that he would make great fortune out of the business. “The rest is story,” he said.
He confidently informed our correspondents that he has made caskets for people of different class in the society ranging politicians to big businessmen and other high and middle class people.
“Each one I do brings makes more contact for me and that is how my business has expanded to the point that I run a full burial consultancy,” he said, inviting our curious correspondents to his showroom to see other amazing varieties of foreign and locally made caskets.
Curiosity however led Daily Sun Metro to a nearby show room where the owner of the business who identified himself as Mr. Ufot took our correspondents through the lesson on how caskets are coupled and decorated, depending on the taste and request of the customer.
Responding to question on the demand for foreign caskets by bourgeois, Ufot said, “demand for foreign caskets has obviously drop in recent time. The economic situation of Nigeria and the wide believe that it takes longer time to decay could be responsible for such significant drop.“Remember that some of the foreign caskets are made of steel or other similar materials and that takes time to decay, unlike the local caskets that are made of mahogany and such other woods that takes maximum of two months to decay.
“Even though prices has gone up by at least 15 percent, people are left with no option but to buy at that price because coffin is one of the requirements for burial except for some religion that don’t consider its importance.
Meanwhile, a visibly depressed customer who identified himself as Cosmas told our correspondents that he has no option but to buy the coffin at the high cost. “I am not a Muslim that don’t need coffin to bury people. The only thing is that I will buy the one that I can afford,” he said.