A Facebook post claiming that a woman Who Had 10 Kids With 10 Different buried in a coffin-shaped like a man’s genitals has been shared thousands of times.
But the claim is misleading; the picture of the coffin published on Facebook comes from Ghana and shows the funeral of a man who conducted traditional male circumcisions in his community, locally known as a wanzam.
Claim: A woman has been laid to rest in a casket designed in a form of a man’s private part.
Full Text: A post published by African Report Files Facebook page on November 15, 2021, shared two images of a coffin-shaped like a circumcised penis surrounded by a crowd.
“Woman Who Had 10 Kids With 10 Different Men Buried In P€nis-like Casket- A woman has been laid to rest in a casket designed in a form of a man’s private part.”
The same claim was shared in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Cameroon.
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This tweet from an account that describes itself as a Zimbabwean online news feed shared a similar claim but purported that the deceased was a woman who had died during intercourse.
Verification: A search on social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle revealed that the claim has been shared by various humour pages and groups. From some of the comments, people appeared to believe the claim about the coffin belonging to a sex worker who died.
A reverse image search showed media reports (here and here) indicating that the casket was the final resting place of a man from Ghana who practiced traditional male circumcisions.
An online search revealed that when images of the casket began spreading on the internet in July 2020, it led to the publication of articles here and here claiming the person buried in the coffin was a woman sex worker.
However, this Ghanian television station interviewed William Kpalpo Allotey, the brother of the deceased, John Nii Addo Allotey, and he confirmed that the family’s choice of the coffin was intended to honour the decades-long work of his brother.
“In our community, the profession you are involved in, the type of work you do, is what we use to design the casket used for your burial. For a fisherman, we design a fish for you and since this man was a wanzam, we designed a human sexual organ for the burial,” Allotey said during the interview with Television CK.
Coffin designs in Ghana can be personalized based on a client’s life, dreams, passions, profession and status (see reports here, here and here).
Isaac Tettehfio, who runs an Instagram page showcasing the business’ fancy coffins, said that while he has designed penis-shaped coffins before, he does not recall making one for a sex worker.
Conclusion: However, while the image is genuine and the coffin was real, the claim is misleading.