Stigma of coffin-making business

Death can either be due to natural attrition or manmade for instance being killed or committing suicide. It is the ultimate final destiny of a human being. It is a dreaded journey which we will all have to travel because metaphysically fate wired it that way.

Equally any business is primarily geared towards making profit and not losses. It is a transaction that involves the buyer and the seller. Indeed there is another form of a business which initially was not majored by the locals due to stigma and stereotype attached to it.

Coffin-making is a type of a business which of late has attracted a few residents of Maua who have strongly taken courage to demystify the perpetual stigma and stereotype attached by the Meru community that if you engage in this form of business you may either die or bring misfortune to your family.

Indeed it was abominable in Meru culture for coffin to be touched anyhow but this is not the case with Hellen Gakii of Ambassador funeral service who says that at a times the business is so booming hence enabling her educate her siblings apart from meeting her soci0-economical needs of her immediate family and that of community including contributing in fundraiser.

She has reached an extent of saying that due to passion for the business and returns obtained from it she wouldn’t wish to be employed by anybody.

When asked which is the most profitable moment she said its beyond season and prediction since one cannot tell when the commodity is in demand because death is unforeseeable but maintained that the business needs to be situated near a morgue so as to make it centrally seeable by the clients who come to pick their beloved ones in the morgue.

She further called on members of the public to come to terms with death’s reality and remove the stigma attached to it as it is the last destiny of their beloved ones. When asked on marketing strategy she had this to say, “I normally liaise with the funeral committee chairpersons in marketing my products in various localities even if it means giving them some tips when they bring us customers.

Gakii also maintained that she equally markets her products through online platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube.

She added that the price of a coffin depends on the quality and material used when making it and also due to aesthetic value and comfort although only the dead can ascertain that comfort.

“Our charges range from Sh 7000 to Sh 50, 000 depending on the quality and materials used and the smaller one for kids at Sh 5000,” Gakii says.

“The significance and utility of humanity lies in his life but fatality reduces it to dust; therefore human beings are as important and productive when alive” ascertains a pastor from one of the East African Pentecostal churches (EAPC).

Bernard Ntarangwi a pastor in Muringene EAPC church confirmed that it is high time people needs to reduce stereotypes and stigma attached to the coffin and the death itself saying the business is as good as the rest of other businesses and traders play a major role in generating income to themselves and public at large since some of the traders are members of the church and need not to be condemned for dealing with the legal business.

“Coffin business is a business like any other legal businesses and no one should be condemned for dealing in such activity,” pastor Ntarangwi said.



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