Tuesday, October 27, 2020

We do not make money out of the dead, but the living, says undertaker

Lack of trained personnel and institutions providing such in the country is one of the problems prevalent in the local funeral parlour industry, according to Managing Director of Mosala Funeral Directors, Bushie Mosala 

“There is not a single training institute for the personnel of this industry in the country despite the fact that lots of funds are used by the society in it. The end result is that Batswana spend millions of their earnings on an unprofessional industry,” said Mosala in an interview.

Mosala emphasised the fact that funeral undertaking is a unique business, as evidenced by the fact that only Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) funds it while other financial institutions consider it a risky entity. 

He said unlike what their detractors say they do not make money from the dead but make money out of the living; through payment of premiums. They therefore do not wish that people die so that they bring business. 

It is partially due to the fact that some people find it hard to accept there can be competition in this industry. 

For instance, residents of the Kweneng West District are yet to accept the new management of a mortuary in Ditshegwane village. They stopped using the mortuary during the previous management and are not ready to accept that there is change of management and services.

“The residents stopped using the mortuary some months before it was auctioned and my company bought it. This was due to the fact that the bodies of their dead loved ones got decomposed when taken to that mortuary then. The residents have since decided to take their deceased relatives to Molepolole,” he said.

Quizzed on what could had led to the decompositions, Mosala did not go into details but explained how not monitoring equipment regularly (about three times a day) could lead to such a problem. He would not be drawn into giving more details lest he became judgmental of his predecessor at the mortuary. 

He hastened to explain that Kweneng West residents should accept that a new management had taken over even though one of the current employees also worked under the previous order. 

A new approach is being used and more services are at their disposal, he stressed.

“We have extended services. We can install tombstones immediately after the funeral or go the traditional route of allowing some time to lapse. With instant tomb stones; after the grave has been dug, we start constructing the wall inside it. After the coffin has been covered completely the following day we start erecting the tombstone, there and then. By the time the mourners leave the graveyard the tombstone would have been be unveiled,” said Mosala. 

He added that with placing the tombstones, their services are extended to those clients who would have a different mortuary to bury their dead.

Other services he said, include funeral hardware – coffins and others – body collection, assisting with documentations free of charge in a radius of 50km and 24 hours per day. Like all other mortuaries, his also has various funeral plans which allow clients to prepare in advance for burying their dead.  

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The Telegraph October 28

Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 28, 2020.