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Ghana’s Professional Mourners Get Paid to Cry at Strangers’ Funerals

Some people find it hard to cry when their loved-ones’ die, but wailing and mourning are a big part of funerals in the African country of Ghana, as it is indicative of the deceased’ social standing or how beloved they were by their family and community. So it’s no wonder that some Ghanaians are willing to pay professional mourners to cry on their behalf.

Ami Dokli is the leader of one of the several groups of professional mourners in Ghana. In a recent interview with BBC Africa, she said that some people cannot cry at their relatives’ funerals, so they rely on her and her team to do the wailing. Dokli and the other women in her team are all widows who, after their husbands died, decided to come together to help others give their loved-ones a proper send-off to the afterlife. But crying for strangers is not the easiest thing in the world, so professional mourners charge a fee for their services, the size of which is in direct relation to the size of the funeral. If it’s a big funeral, their tears cost more.

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