- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: Nudist Beau Brummel turns to coffin-making with a difference
- Date: 5th November 2005
- Summary: (L!1) BRONKHURSTSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA (RECENT) (REUTERS) AFRICAN COFFINS BEING MANUFACTURED AT COFFINS FACTORY (3 SHOTS) WORKERS PUTTING HANDLES ONTO COFFIN DECORATED AFRICAN COFFINS ON DISPLAY NUDIST BEAU BRUMMEL AND WORKER POSITIONING COFFIN COFFIN NEXT TO TRADITIONAL SHIELD
- Embargoed: 20th November 2005 12:00
- Location: South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA2P98RVAYFX6KDKXUDQKLQPEVF
- Story Text: Wooden coffins are a tradition in most countries, including South Africa. But now, there is also the option to be buried in something very different. This option comes from a new coffin factory founded by South African nudist Beau Brummel.
The coffins Brummel's company make boast animal skins, traditional colourful designs and shapes. The 63-year-old came up with the idea to make these colourful coffins after the country's horrific Aids pandemic pushed the death rate to unprecedented levels.
"A couple of years ago, we realize the horrific Aids pandemic sweeping across Africa, and thousands of people being buried in little wooden boxes that the colonials, enforced on the people of Africa. I thought, wouldn't it be nice not only in life, but also in death to have the feel of Africa. Instead of being buried in a box, have something that is beautifully decorated with a feel of Africa...the Leopard skin, the Inedible, Zulu," Brummel told Reuters Television.
Families are now burying their loved ones nearly everyday and most cemeteries are full. Analysts claim that the number of undertakers has more than tripled in the last three years. Of the estimated 20 000 businesses that are thought to be operating, only about 5 000 are said to be registered.
Brummel is best known for his campaigning for nudism. His famous nudist establishment in the bushveld north of Pretoria, collapsed under the weight of litigation brought by white shareholders who did not want to share their nudity with Blacks. But that's not the only mess, the 63-year-old managed to get himself in.
He recently offended former South African President Nelson Mandela's secretary by offering to make a super deluxe Nguni coffin for Mandela once he dies. Brummel offered to make the Mandela casket with genuine elephant tusk handles obtained from the Kruger National Park. But he was quickly criticised for offending Mandela by offering him a coffin whilst he is still alive - a gesture that was deemed offensive and un-African.
And surprisingly, Brummel himself does not intend to being buried in one of his creations. True to his nudist spirit, he wants to depart the world naked - wrapped only in a traditional cow skin and blessed by a sangoma.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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