Ghana’s Dancing Pallbearers Are Showing The World How to Grieve

More than an ironic response to the COVID-19 crisis, the meme introduced a powerful Ghanaian mourning ritual to the world and with it some relief.

Dressed in ornate tuxedos, big sunglasses and spotless white gloves, six men lift a coffin to their shoulders and begin an extravagant synchronized dance. They bounce in unison, wave white handkerchiefs and even crawl across the floor while expertly keeping the deceased safely in the air and funeral attendees dancing along.

It's been impossible to avoid Ghana's dancing pallbearers lately. The meme has been everywhere online, copied by comedians, animators, even emergency services in response to the spread of COVID-19

Despite the morbid subject matter, it comes as no surprise that the pallbearers, known as the "Nana Otafrija Pallbearing and Waiting Service" led by Benjamin Aidoo, have risen in popularity on a trajectory paralleling the pandemic's impact on our daily lives.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Tributes Pour Out for NYC Restaurateur and Community Leader, Jonathan Adewumi, Upon His Passing

The Nigerian-born cultural advocate was a pillar of New York's African community.