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Former Police Officer finds success in coffin-making industry

Boniface Wanguku, a former police officer, has found a new career path in the coffin-making industry after identifying a gap in the funeral services sector offered in his area, Murang’a Town.

Wanguku’s journey began when he decided to provide a solution by venturing into the sector by purchasing a hearse vehicle, which allowed him to offer transport services for the departed.

However, he soon realised the high demand for coffins and decided to venture into coffin production as well.

“When I started this business, I bought a vehicle that would help transport the deceased and later started making coffins,” said Wanguku.

According to Wanguku, the process of crafting a coffin involves using materials such as wood, chipboards, and handles. He said he ensures that each coffin is tailor-made to fit the specific dimensions of the deceased. He even visits mortuaries to take accurate measurements of the body to ensure a perfect fit.

“Sometimes we are required to visit the mortuary and take a look at the condition of the corpse and then decide how the coffin will be made,” he said.

When it comes to the design and style of the coffins, Wanguku revealed that he keeps a close eye on current trends by regularly checking the internet for inspiration.

“Sometimes we search the internet to see trending designs in order to be up to date with the current designs,” Wanguku said, adding that he understands that customers have different preferences and aims to offer a wide variety of designs to cater to their needs.

He further said that quality and durability are of utmost importance when it comes to designing and making the caskets.

“I ensure that each coffin is built to withstand the test of time. This includes using sturdy materials and employing expert craftsmanship in the construction process,” he said.

Wanguku explained that customization is another aspect that he considers when crafting a coffin. He takes into account the individual family’s specific requests, making sure to incorporate personal touches that honour the deceased.

 “My business, I decided to put my products inside a room instead of by the roadside because most of the time, you may find a child going to school daily, and seeing the coffin may not portray a good image to the child or other members of the public who may be sensitive to the products,” he said.

While the nature of his work can be emotionally challenging, Wanguku averred that he handles it with sensitivity and professionalism. He understands the importance of providing a respectful and appropriate final sendoff for the deceased.

Wanguku has encountered unique and challenging requests from customers in the past. However, he takes pride in his ability to fulfil these requests, ensuring that each customer’s vision is brought to life.

In addition to coffin production, Wanguku has expanded his services to include packaging eulogies and grave digging. This comprehensive approach allows him to provide a complete funeral service package to his clients.

“Currently, my business is offering almost all funeral service packages, including coffin making, transportation services, selling wreaths, and printing eulogies, among other services,” he said.

As the coffin-making industry continues to evolve, Wanguku stays up-to-date with new techniques and innovations. He actively seeks out information and resources to ensure that his products remain of the highest quality.

His success story in the coffin-making industry is a testament to his dedication and passion for providing dignified funeral services.

Through his craftsmanship and attention to detail, he has become a trusted name in Murang’a County and beyond.

By Anita Omwenga and Martin Macharia

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