Mortician jobs probably fall in a category of occupations that are looked down upon or considered as creepy. However, this is not how John Nganga views it and over the years since he relocated to the United States of America, he has established his business and works as a general manager of Bedford Memorial Funeral Home in Dallas Texas.
You might wonder whether this had always been his dream occupation, Nganga says that before he started the funeral home, he had studied an aviation course but decided to find his passion after he completed his studies.
“I actually came to flying school finished with that but did not follow it up since it was not a passion. I ended up going to school took some medical classes. I ventured in forensic science but I majored in mortuary science and that is how I ended up in funeral business.” He stated
For 14 years during his stay in America, John had worked for several companies before starting his own business. He reveals that it took him 6 years to save up enough to generate capital for his business. According to him, he strongly believes that starting a business with a loan is not the best idea.
His services range from paperwork including getting a permit from the Embassy to ship the body to the provision of a venue within the funeral home where the family of the deceased can hold their prayers. Beyond transporting the body, Nganga assures his clients that they also facilitate ferrying of the body to whatever destination they desire including remote areas within their native country.
With his business running for about 5 years now, the Kenyan based in Texas has been able to provide services both locally and internationally. He confirms that with his team of 8 employees they handle about 300 cases every year.
Compared to other funeral homes, John mentioned that he offers more services to Kenyans and Africans in Diaspora citing the fact that they have a mutual understanding. His packages range from $5000 to $11665 which is an equivalent of Ksh 500,000 to about Ksh 1.2 M.
Currently, his business is one of the affected considering that the Kenyan government issued a directive for Kenyans who die abroad amid the pandemic be buried there.
Unlike other businesses, Nganga says that they do not advertise their services on media platforms but they make sure they offer excellent send-off services during funerals and that is how they get their clients. Most of their clients are people who attend the funerals.
Apart from the funeral home, he has also invested in his native land Kenya although he says it is difficult to thrive in the Kenyan market.
“I have different projects at home I involve myself in. We just started a magazine in Kenya that is going to explore different kinds of areas of tourism and we are getting into counties to see if they will support us even though Kenya is a very hard place to penetrate.” He stated
In the future, Nganga plans on opening another funeral home in his home town Juja. He attributes his success to passion and compassion when serving people.
His advice to other Kenyans who get a green card is that instead of completely relocating once they get the opportunity to live abroad, they can always enjoy living in both worlds and make great investments.