Rent a mourner can supply professional discreet people to attend funerals and wakes. If you simply need to increase visitor numbers or introduce new faces, then we can help...we can supply professional, polite, well dressed individuals to attend funerals and wakes. We are happy to take your guidance on how we integrate and mix with your other visitors.
Those are some of the excerpts from the website of Rent a Mourner, a business in the UK that has this strange looking tree allover the site. The tree looks sad enough but my guess is that this is where the apple that brought about this idea fell from. One of the websites that covered them claimed they receive on average 12 orders every month so business doesn’t seem to be bad at all.
All the major blogs/websites seem to have written about this and exhausted all the jokes so, I will approach this from a different angle because I think this is an idea that would be a hit in Uganda and Africa in general. I am going to stereotype a bit here so if you are sensitive to that kind of thing, do yourself a favor and move on to another article.
African women in general are known for being dramatic when it comes to mourning the dead. Most times it is understandable considering you have just lost someone close but in some instances; the level of drama displayed by some women mourners is not directly proportional to the closeness they share with the deceased. I am not sure who started this one but it is said Baganda women are the ish when it comes to mourning. Not the corporate emancipated ones of these days but the ones deep down in the villages. We are talking about the type that put on Gomesi’s every day and night (as nighties) and have a special recipe for preparing matooke written on banana leaves, or bark cloth if the family is well off, that has been passed on from generation to generation.
When they hear about someone’s death, irrespective of whether they know them or not, the shock that registers on their faces creates a breeze. Their trembling right hand (if they are right handed, the reverse is true) ascends to cover their gaping mouth in slow motion, almost like they are in the middle of an intensive work out and there are some weights hanging from the arm. The other hand makes its way to their overdeveloped rump and dutifully acts like it has been super-glued there. “Eh, nga Kitalo nyo!” she will then proclaim with the kind of finality in her voice that should kill any hopes and attempts the dead persons ghost might be making to resurrect them.
Now, if by any chance you are actually thinking of hiring out mourners as a business, watch closely during the moments I am going to describe next when you are doing practical interviews for your potential employees. If you can, have a camera to record these moments so you can post them up on your website as demos of what your team is capable of.
After Kitalo nyo, the Muganda woman will let out a shriek, a shriek so loud and shrill it will resurrect a dinosaur. I haven’t given this much thought but my spider sense tells me these shrieks have different levels and meanings. “Wooooooweeeeee” (wowelating) cannot possibly have the same meaning as “AAAAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE” (ayilating) or the more popular “WUULULULULULULULU” (ululating). I will let the scientists and researchers figure out that one. Just don’t forget to mention me in the credits of your research paper.
Other theatrics of MugiWo (I am in a generous mood today. Feel free to use that term I have just coined.) mourner include, rolling around in dirt, refusing to eat, asking God “WHYYY??” repeatedly, attempting to jump in the grave with the corpse, getting seizures and so on and so forth. Legend even has it the phrase drama queen was coined after watching a MugiWo mourn. Another legend has it that Nigerian female actors come and study the MugiWo women mourning while researching for their roles.
So for those that are tired of being jobless and are not afraid of raising a few eyebrows, I think I have just given you the perfect business idea. You should have light bulbs floating all over your head right now. Let’s show these Brits how it is done.
We joke about all kinds of things here but incase you want to read a more somber view on the Rent a Mourner business, check out this article on the Telegraph.