8.2 C
New York
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Home World News Coronavirus: Why Ghana has gone into mourning after mass funeral ban

Coronavirus: Why Ghana has gone into mourning after mass funeral ban

A woman touching a coffin that is shaped like a roosterPicture copyright
Getty Photos

Picture caption

Funerals in Ghana are well-known to be elaborate affairs with specifically designed coffins

In our collection of letters from African writers, journalist and former Ghana authorities minister Elizabeth Ohene writes concerning the dramatic impression coronavirus is having on life in her nation and past.

Advertisements
Advertisements

If anybody had any doubt about simply how critical the Covid-19 outbreak is, we now have proof constructive, we’re within the midst of an enormous disaster.

It is a disaster not measured but by how many individuals have been taken unwell, or are in hospital or have died.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Right here in Ghana, there are some issues which are sacred in our lives and no person touches them underneath any circumstance: faith, handshakes and funerals.

These are topics that aren’t up for dialogue and many individuals imagine they outline our very existence.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

Picture caption

Many peoples’ lives revolve round faith and the common prayer periods

For weeks, authorities and well being officers right here have been warning everyone to enhance private hygiene and keep away from crowds.

Many individuals most popular to suppose that the coronavirus wouldn’t make it into sub-Saharan Africa and subsequently they believed the warnings by the well being specialists may very well be ignored.

Advertisements
Advertisements

‘Solely enemies refuse to shake arms’

Whoever heard of a Ghanaian, certainly, an African greeting one other particular person and never shaking arms?

To refuse or ignore to shake arms with somebody implies that particular person is an enemy. Now we will not shake arms with anyone, buddy or foe.

Advertisements
Advertisements

President Nana Akufo-Addo set the tone for the brand new guidelines on the celebrations of Ghana’s 63rd independence anniversary on 6 March, when he ostentatiously stored each his arms resolutely behind his again when he arrived on the ceremony to greet these seated on the dais.

And as if the prohibition on handshaking was not traumatic sufficient, a ban has been placed on the holding of funerals. The official announcement says there will be non-public burials, however no mass gatherings of mourners.

Advertisements
Advertisements

BBC

Advertisements
Advertisements

There isn’t a such factor as a non-public burial in our pondering and funerals are enormous, dramatic and common ceremonies”

I’m not certain I can convey the enormity of this on the Ghanaian psyche.

There isn’t a such factor as a non-public burial in our pondering and funerals are enormous, dramatic and common ceremonies.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Our lives revolve round funerals.

The catering trade depends on funerals to outlive, the textile trade wants orders for funeral cloths to remain in enterprise, the tailors and dressmakers are busy largely as a result of they make garments for funerals; choral teams, occasions organisers, transportation and producers and sellers of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks would disappear with out funerals.

Advertisements
Advertisements

However there can be no extra funerals.

Come to consider it, what with the hand shaking ban, it is most likely simply as nicely {that a} ban has been positioned on funerals.

Advertisements
Advertisements

We will not have funerals and never shake arms, your entire funeral ceremony consists of shaking arms, shaking arms and shaking arms.

The ban on non secular gatherings right here, and in some international locations elsewhere on the continent, is having a big effect on individuals for whom communal prayer and the self-discipline of the non secular calendar are central to their lives.

Advertisements
Advertisements

However there may be silence within the mosques and within the church buildings right here in Ghana.

When the announcement was first made by the president, the Christian leaders have been surprised and the charismatic church buildings particularly have been in whole disbelief.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Miracle prayers

It was unthinkable that something or anyone might shut church companies. The all-night companies, the miracle companies, the anointing companies have taken over all our lives.

Some had hoped that the promise of miracle prayers to save lots of Ghana from the scourge of coronavirus would persuade the president to maintain the church buildings and mosques open, however he was not moved to alter his thoughts.

Advertisements
Advertisements

And they’re going to keep closed all through Easter, essentially the most sacred competition on the Christian calendar.

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

Picture caption

For some it’s laborious to think about life with out non secular companies

The order to shut the church buildings is popping out to be essentially the most troublesome one for individuals to obey.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The mainstream church buildings are complying and plenty of are providing on-line companies, which embody provisions for offertory to be made by way of cellular cash donations.

However a number of the charismatic church buildings appear to suppose they’re allowed to flout the order to not maintain church companies by claiming they’re providing particular prayers towards Covid-19.

Advertisements
Advertisements

You may additionally be enthusiastic about:

  • Why coronavirus recommendation received’t work for tens of millions of individuals

Media playback is unsupported in your machine

Media captionCoronavirus: A father’s fears in Kenya’s crowded Kibera settlement
  • Bracing for coronavirus in a South African township

Going to church a number of occasions per week is regular for many individuals and the information is often filled with the antics of a number of the so-called males of God.

The president requested the nation to quick and pray on Wednesday this week and probably, some individuals would have had issue accepting that they might quick and pray by themselves at dwelling with out going to church.

Advertisements
Advertisements

From right here, we keenly observe all of the information about how the remainder of the continent is doing with the function of faith within the march of the lethal coronavirus.

President John Magufuli

Advertisements
Advertisements

Getty Photos

Coronavirus is a satan, it can’t dwell within the physique of Christ, it’s going to burn immediately. It is a time to construct our religion”

I’ve little question that the method of Tanzanian President John Magufuli can be cited by some individuals right here as price following.

Advertisements
Advertisements

He has banned public gatherings and closed colleges as we’ve, however he stated he didn’t ban church or mosque worship as a result of these have been locations the place “true therapeutic” came about.

“Coronavirus is a satan, it can’t dwell within the physique of Christ, it’s going to burn immediately. It is a time to construct our religion,” President Magufuli, who has a PhD in chemistry and is a religious Catholic, stated at a church service final Sunday.

President Akufo-Addo has urged us to hunt the face of God and pray for Ghana however he’s sticking to the science and emphasising the washing of arms, social distancing and the church buildings and mosques stay closed.

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

Picture caption

The Zion Christian Church’s Easter gathering usually attracts tons of of 1000’s of worshippers

It’s now getting by way of to many individuals that we’re in lethal uncharted territory when the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), most likely the largest church in southern Africa, introduced it had postponed all gatherings together with their Easter service.

This service usually attracts tens of millions of pilgrims, who congregate on the foothills of the Moria Mountain in Limpopo through the Easter weekend, and there certainly can’t be a extra dramatic spectacle.

By no means, within the historical past of the ZCC, since its inception in 1910, has the church postponed or cancelled its pilgrimage.

We will not shake arms, we will not have funerals, we will not go to worship on the mosque or the church, the ZCC has postponed its Easter pilgrimage; we’re within the midst of an emergency alright.

Extra Letters from Africa

Comply with us on Twitter @BBCAfrica, on Fb at BBC Africa or on Instagram at bbcafrica

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

You Can Nonetheless Play Pokémon Go Even When You Can’t … Go

Whereas most sport makers are seeing booming usage statistics within the period of coronavirus-induced social distancing, Niantic is within the reverse place....

Coronavirus: When 76 strangers sang joyful birthday to a neighbour

A girl shocked her fiancé by organising a mass sing-along for his birthday of their house constructing.Hannah Chung and Jason Shields moved into the...

Recent Comments