In Ghana funeral signboards are a common sight.
Funerals in West Africa are extremely important events. People will go into debt if necessary in order to give a lavish funeral to an elder member of the family, even those who don’t have the money to meet their basic, everyday needs.
The older a person is when he or she dies, the more extravagant the funeral. People here spend on funerals like what an American would spend on a wedding.
In addition to signboards, some families will have color pamphlets made up for the funeral service with a brief biography, including photos of the deceased and family members.
Services seem to be held in any open space that will hold a lot of people.
Black is a color associated with death and mourning in Ghana, as it is in the States. Red is also a funeral color in West Africa.
I learned this several years ago by chance when I sent a friend in Togo a Christmas card with a red envelope. He told me later he was shocked when he received it. Before opening the envelope, he thought I had written to tell him there had been a death in my family.