Last week watching the television and other online video coverage of the stylish send-off the nation gave to our beloved footballer, Christian Atsu, one could not help but applaud Ghanaians.  

Yes, we do it so well when it comes to funerals, whether for a dear one or a family member. We go to all lengths to send off our dead in style and make sure we ourselves also step out to witness it in style, the catwalk type. It all happened at Christian’s funeral.

Bless a departed soul who had some level of social standing, the doors of the seat of government open for families to call on the President to formally announce the passing of their beloved one. There they announce the funeral arrangements and follow it up with an invite. The gesture gives family members the photo opportunity too.

God bless the deceased’s soul if the President or any higher official is attending the funeral.  Red carpets get rolled out; decorations are lifted to another level, not to mention the sweet-scented expensive natural flowers. The overall protocol is exquisite and the funeral donations are bound to swell.


And so last week Friday, the affable footballer’s funeral became a red-carpet affair. It was attended by the highs and lows of Ghanaian society. Watching the proceedings from the beginning to the end, one thing came to mind. That Christian would have been a contented guy if he had an eye to have witnessed how his funeral went.

I thought the late Atsu would have smiled on Ghanaians for the VVIP funeral accorded him. He must have been proud of the warm handshakes his wife and children, particularly his two older boys received from numerous mourners, not to mention the tight hugs from persons they never knew and will never know.

He would have clapped for the red carpet-affair. He would have smiled to the “Adowa” dancer who gave his pallbearers and entire funeral cortege that kingly welcome into the State House grounds. 

Above all, he would have thanked the government, all the VIPs who made it there, the funeral committee, the GFA, his buddy footballers, and the people of Ghana with an organised farewell football match. He would have ensured the current and past national footballers all featured, knowing football is the passion of the nation.

From the various tributes read and the stuff recalled about him, even by his former colleagues at Chelsea and Everton football Clubs in the United Kingdom (UK), the late Christian was warm-hearted. The kind of guy one would love to hang around with. 

Nonetheless, with all the money he was making as an international footballer, he still connected with the poor and needy back home. 

If he ever knew the end was coming so soon for him, I bet he would have suggested that his funeral be scaled down and the saved, be donated towards the completion of a school he had embarked on as his contribution to the education of the underprivileged.

He certainly would have cheered two of his former international football Clubs, Everton and Chelsea, who have publicly shown how much they respected and are missing their former colleague.

News reports have it that a couple of weekends ago, the two UK Clubs organised a football match after which they auctioned their shirts to raise funds for their departed colleague’s charity – Arms Around the Child. 

The Captain of the Chelsea Club is reported to have said that the auction was to celebrate the life of Christian “who was well loved within the Clubs and was deeply missed”.  The money raised from the auctioned shirts would go to fund the completion of the school Atsu started building here in Ghana for orphaned children.

In short, the late astute and affable footballer would have been exceptionally impressed to see how much he was silently admired especially here in his home country. Unfortunately, the affection could only be exhibited after his painful exit.


But in reality, that is truly us. As a nation, we tend to make heroes and heroines of our dead. It is a crying shame that though that kind of attitude has been condemned oftentimes, drawing attention to celebrating the living and caring for the needs of the poor, we are all guilty parties.

Can one blame family members who leave strict instructions about their funerals?  Some request ahead, simple and quick-fix funerals. They leave a tall list of dos and don’ts for their funerals to lessen the cost and agony of family.

As life gets exceptionally hard and families are struggling to make ends meet and also provide a decent education for the young ones, it is time to rethink our funeral burdens.   

No wonder in some communities in the country, traditional rulers and in some cases, the Church have banned certain things or practices in order to make funerals more simpler and less costly for families.  For example, some communities organise joint funerals held once a month to help cut costs. 

It is time for us to reintroduce the discussion. Can we as a people, begin to rethink simple, less costly funerals? That is a question.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.