The lady coffin maker who mourns with her clients

Making a resting place for the dèad is not a trade many venture in, more so women. But in the world of Joyce Njeri, anything under the son is possible in an economy where jobs are not forthcoming.

On a recent Tuesday afternoon, she was finishing up a coffin. Ms Njeri, a mother of four aged 50, works with a sense of urgency. While she acknowledges her business can be morbid to some because its fortunes depend on the dèad, to her it is a business like any other.

Some will cringe at the sight  or even thought of a woman making coffins. “My children visit me in the workshop and play with their friends and when they get tired, they jump into one of the coffins to enjoy a nap,” she says.

Her children have interacted with coffins long enough and do not fear them, she says. Her husband, Alexander Kimani, helps her out at the workshop. “For 20 years and counting, I have been independent, able to take the children to school, buy household goods for our home and support our in-laws,” Ms Njeri says.

She recalls how she unsuccessfully tried out different trades – like selling clothes and shoes – before settling on coffin making. The job’s greatest challenge are malicious allègations by neighbours who accuse the Kimanis of wishing dèath for people to get a market for their products. But Njeri dismisses the claims, adding that dèath is natural and all she does is prepare a suitable resting place for those who die.

ALSO READ: 95-YEAR-OLD DÈAD WOMAN WALKS OUT OF COFFIN

“People fear coffins and even run a way when they see a déad body being transported. Some people make snide remarks about us whenever we walk by. We are human and we cannot pray for dèath,” says Mr Kimani.

Even if people scorn at it, the business fetches between Ksh30, 000 to Ksh50, 000 a month. The most expensive casket at the Kimanis workshop goes for Ksh100, 000 for prominent clients.

“The cost of a casket depends on quality and starts from Ksh10, 000,” says Njeri. When she started out, she had capital to make only 10 ordinary coffins, but currently she makes over 300 to 400 coffins in a year. “My family opposed it strongly at first, but as I started to earn a decent income, they changed their minds,” she adds.

One of the coffins made was her mother in-law’s and Ms Njeri has no problem should her own coffin be picked from one of those she has made. “I cry with my clients who break down while choosing a coffin in my workshop and actually wish dèath was not so cruel,” she adds.

So considerate are they of their clients, that their business is located near Rift Valley Provincial Hospital, next to Nakuru North Cemetery and Nakuru County Mortuary. This, Mr Kimani, says cuts costs for the bereaved who do not have to travel long distances to get a coffin.

Ms Njeri advises people not to be choosy with jobs. “Let whichever feasible and available job be done, to build a financially stable nation, catering for everyone’s welfare.” (PD)

NEXT READ: PORN’OGRAPHY TURNS INTO BIG BUSINESS IN KENYA

Latest

Firms Announce Merger Deal to Expand Services

Dalberg Implement, a leader in on-the-ground program implementation with vast expertise in strategy execution, and Axum, an Afrocentric impact firm dedicated to fostering inclusive growth across the Global South, have announced a merger.

Odibets Launches Mega Water Project In Makueni

Odi Mtaani Foundation by online betting company Odibets, in...

Ivon Priscar Living Kenya’s e-Commerce Dream in Grocery Shopping

As Kenya's informal sector continues to thrive, companies like Kapu serve as catalysts for economic empowerment and resilience.

Rose Ntong’ondu: Popcorn Hawker Who Owns a Multi-Million Beauty Empire

Rose Ntong'ondu, founder of Makeup by Rose, is a Kenyan-based makeup artist, teacher, mentor, and beauty entrepreneur.

Follow Us

Newsletter

Don't miss

Throwing The Girls Into Deep End: Single Kiasi S3 First Look

Nairobi’s dating scene is about to get messy: Single Kiasi...

Win New Year Crossover Mugithi Tickets With Odibets

The event has attracted prominent Kikuyu musicians who will be headlining the event including Samidoh and Muigai wa Njoroge.

For Coloured Girls is Theatre Production of the Year

The play ‘For Coloured Girls (who have considered suicide/ when...

Tusker Oktobafest Rolls East African Cultures into One

From regional events across Kenya to inaugural gatherings in Uganda and Tanzania, and the Tusker Oktobafest grand finale in Nairobi, the festival harmonized traditions, celebrated diversity, and highlighted the rich cultural tapestry of the East African culture

Lupita’s Little Brother Junior Nyong’o Charting His Own Path in Acting

Junior Nyongó, who is also a musician and a DJ and now a graduate of UC San Diego with an MFA in Acting, is crafting his own solid path in the world of acting with roles in major theatre productions.

Safaricom To Power Tusker OktobaFest Beer Festival

Safaricom’s involvement in OktobaFest as a technology and payments partner will focus on fostering seamless in-festival connectivity, empowering the youth and Gen Z community through Safaricom Hook, and powering digital payments through M-PESA.

Music Producers Launch Organization To Streamline Recording Industry

Recording Industry of Kenya (RIKE) was launched on 9th October 2023. Registered in 2022 as a not-for-profit organization, RIKE aims to promote the collective interests of producers of sound recordings in the country.

Nairobi’s Hero Bar Listed Among World’s 50 Best Bars

World Best Bars: Hero Bar in Nairobi continues to climb the list, moving up six places to No.62 and Johannesburg’s Sin + Tax comes in at No.94. Dubai new entry Ergo is at No.69 and Melbourne’s Byrdi has re-entered the list at No.61.

Kenyan DJs Face Off In Smirnoff Battle Of The Beats Season 3

The Smirnoff Battle of the Beats Season 3, a DJ competition, is poised to unleash an unprecedented musical frenzy countrywide.

The Highs And Lows Of Betty Kyallo, Sisters Show As Season 2 Ends

Kyallo Kulture has always been, above all, about sisterhood, and in Season 2 we have witnessed the charm of it - the ups that gave us wholesome moments as the sisters led by Betty Kyallo spent time together.
BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke

Firms Announce Merger Deal to Expand Services

Dalberg Implement, a leader in on-the-ground program implementation with vast expertise in strategy execution, and Axum, an Afrocentric impact firm dedicated to fostering inclusive growth across the Global South, have announced a merger.

Odibets Launches Mega Water Project In Makueni

Odi Mtaani Foundation by online betting company Odibets, in collaboration with the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB), have launched a multi-million water project...

Ivon Priscar Living Kenya’s e-Commerce Dream in Grocery Shopping

As Kenya's informal sector continues to thrive, companies like Kapu serve as catalysts for economic empowerment and resilience.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here