When it comes to burying the dead, Ghana has one of the most unique funeral practices in the world. Here, funerals are a celebration of life and a chance for families to give their loved ones a proper send-off, from creating fantasy coffins to holding long ceremonies to being as flamboyant as the families’ budgets allow.
Now, African streaming service Showmax is bringing Ghana’s extravagant funerals to the screen with the new Original, My Perfect Funeral, premiering on 8 December 2022.
My Perfect Funeral is a 10-part reality series that follows five families in Ghana as they prepare to bury their loved ones. Each episode will show the different stages of the funeral, and will also feature POVs and confessional sessions from key family members.
Averagely, it takes 3-4 months to plan and execute a funeral in Ghana. Hence, My Perfect Funeral will follow these 5 families throughout the entire planning to the day of the burial and the aftermath. The show will expose the elaborateness of Ghanaian funerals while exploring unique traditions and fanfare.
“Even though funerals are a sad and morbid experience, African families, and Ghanaians in particular, go the extra mile to make sure this occasion is done perfectly and, in some cases, flamboyantly and without any holding back,” says executive producer Deloris Frimpong Manso (The Delay Show).
It’s a story that hasn’t been told before on our screens, Deloris says. “But then again someone has to tell this story,” she adds.
Like Deloris, Michael Asante Boateng, the producer of My Perfect Funeral, couldn’t pass up the novelty of it all and the new challenge the project presented. He describes it as “a path less trodden” in Ghana, which already has numerous wedding shows, even though funerals, like weddings, pull the most gatherings and celebrations every weekend.
My Perfect Funeral is more than just a show for Deloris, it’s also a way for families to create lasting, tangible moments with their dearly departed. “I personally buried both my parents and I don’t have a single picture from their funerals. This production is going to be a place of record keeping for the five families,” she says.
Viewers can expect to see a lot of culture, celebration, emotions and drama, Michael says. They can also expect to see Benjamin Aidoo, Ghana’s most prominent pallbearer, who shares his perspective on what a proper Ghanaian funeral entails, along with his team of pallbearers.
“I think Benjamin is the truest representation of funerals in Ghana. We see him dance in front of coffins, and that is exactly what most Ghanaians do, feast at funerals,” Deloris says.
My Perfect Funeral is the second Showmax Original title in Ghana after ENO, the Shirley Frimpong-Manso-directed drama series that premiered in March, and became the number one most-watched show on Showmax in Ghana during its thirteen-week run.
Speaking about the show, Dr. Busola Tejumola, Executive Head of Content and West Africa Channels at MultiChoice, said, “My Perfect Funeral is a reality show like no other. The show forms part of Showmax’s strategy to invest in more authentic and diverse local stories that generate emotions and experiences in our audiences across Africa. And after launching ENO earlier this year, we are excited once again to be collaborating with Ghanaian filmmakers to bring this unique concept of My Perfect Funeral to our subscribers in Ghana and across the continent who will identify personally with the stories of the five families featured on the show.”
My Perfect Funeral will be available to Showmax subscribers across Africa, the UK and 32 other countries in the diaspora.