Ghana’s dancing pallbearers have gone viral and continue to spread awareness about celebrating a life well-lived.
The Nana Otafrija Dancing Pallbearers gained fame in 2017 after a BBC documentary covered the group and gave them worldwide recognition. Also known as ‘coffin dancers’ this Ghana group started as traditional pallbearers, but decided they wanted to change the perception around funerals and began to offer dance routines in combination with the pall-bearing. It was a big hit and took off not only around Ghana, but even internationally.
Trending on social media
Coming back into the mainstream at the beginning of 2020, video footage of the dancing pallbearers were being mixed into epic fail videos. In an epic fail video, participants attempt a stunt or may be doing an everyday activity that goes terribly wrong, most likely ending in serious injury, but instead of continuing the montage or leaving it to the imagination, the coffin dancer footage would be added at the end of a fail video. Creating the idea that the act of foolery ended in a dancing funeral.
As the new montages gained popularity it happened to coincide with the rise of coronavirus. The video´s emergence began using footage of non-quarantine and lockdown activities that would now end in the celebration of a life once lived, but not lost due to coronavirus. As the Washington Post beautifully worded, “they’ve become the accidental faces of a stay-at-home movement — comedic grim reapers edited into footage of risky behavior as a warning.”
Hype isn’t translating into business
The publicity is great for raising awareness about the coffin dancing group, but unfortunately it hasn’t translated into business for the death care entrepreneur just yet. The company currently employs about 100 staff, but In a recap interview the founder Benjamin Aidoo said that due to the coronavirus the group is now on hiatus, which is difficult for the business. A similar threat to funeral service providers around the world who are struggling without the additional funeral ceremony income. However, despite the current lull in business Mr. Aidoo was happy that their message about celebrating a life well lived was spreading while they wait for the pandemic to pass.
The dancing pallbearers speak to the fans
With their recent hype in fame the dancing pallbearers are taking some time to speak out to their massive fan base. The group posted a video with Benjamin Aidoo, the leader of the group saying: “We want to thank all the doctors in the world. You are working hard, taking care of everyone.¨ Then he addressed the public saying: ¨Now remember, stay at home or dance with us.”