Popular comedian, actress, and TV personality Afia Schwarzenegger has expressed her deep dismay and sorrow regarding the government’s proposal to leverage funerals as a means of boosting tourism in Ghana.
In a live TikTok video, she emotionally questioned the logic and ethics behind such a strategy.
Her emotional response was triggered by recent remarks made by the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal. The minister had suggested that Ghanaians’ affinity for funerals could be harnessed to showcase the country’s attractions and culture to visitors.
He announced that the Ghana Tourism Authority would organize trips to nearby tourist sites for funeral attendees, offering them local cuisine and beverages.
“Ghanaians love funerals and it is fertile ground for tourism. When there are funerals, people gather at places. What we want to do with the Ghana Tourism Authority, GTA is that whenever there are funerals, we’ll also find tourist attractions in those areas where the funerals occur so that when they finish, [we can] bus those who attend the funerals to key tourist sites. We’re going to serve a lot of Ghanaian dishes at the funerals, Ghanaian drinks, sobolo [hibiscus tea] and co,” he noted.
Afia Schwarzenegger, who had previously criticized the minister’s comments on Instagram, expressed her heartbreak at the apparent lack of empathy and vision within the government. She found it regrettable and distressing that the government’s only idea for boosting tourism appeared to be waiting for people to pass away.
She raised questions about who should be sacrificed for the sake of tourism and whether the government felt any shame for failing to provide quality healthcare and education for its citizens.
Advocating for the poor and vulnerable who lacked access to adequate medical care or the means to travel abroad, Afia Schwarzenegger also identified herself as an ambassador for orphans, expressing her concerns about their future.
She lamented the shortage of hospital beds and the dire conditions faced by pregnant women, attributing these issues to the government’s misplaced focus on funerals instead of development.
In addition, she criticized cabinet members and other officials who praised the minister’s comments, accusing them of wielding power and demonstrating incompetence at the expense of Ghanaian lives. She called upon Ghanaians to demand better governance and accountability from their leaders.
Watch the video below: