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The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. - Family - Nairaland

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The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by specialguest(f): 12:40am On Dec 12, 2012
This thread is dedicated to all widows out there who after losing their husbands assumed the role of head of the house. My mother falls into this category of women, having been a widow since 1992 i sometimes jokingly refer to her as the oldest widow in Nigeria though she is just 47 years old.

In most African marriages, the man is considered the head of the home. A role which certainly comes with a lot of responsibilities and in the sad event that the man passes on, the wife takes over that role with immediate effect. However this transition is mostly never smooth especially in countries like Nigeria. The women face lots of challenges ranging from false accusations by inlaws about the nature/cause of the man's death, to issues regarding claims of money from his bank and place of work, then also fights over property et cetera....

If you are a widow i want to know how you are coping
1. Is the society taking care of you?
2. Are the inlaws allowing you to mourn your husband in peace?
3. Are you able to afford your children's school fees?
4. Are you looking after yourself properly?
5. Are you and your kids feeding well?

And lastly what can we do as individuals to make life more bearable and meaningful to you people?

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Coldfeet(f): 12:59am On Dec 12, 2012
Not yet a widow! Neither is my mum nor anyone close to me! But one thing I know is the widow that needs taking care of is one with young child/ren!
As for coping? its just time I guess.

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by greatgod2012(f): 6:10am On Dec 12, 2012
@op, u mean your mum became a widow in 1992, 20yrs ago, when she was 27 yrs old and since then, didnt remarry, if that is true, kudos to her, even million gbosas for her, her type is very rare. She deserve an award.

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Kobojunkie: 6:19am On Dec 12, 2012
@Poster, if you are trying to change the plight of widows, it is required that tradition be changed, else nothing will be achieved. Currently, in much of Nigeria, women, and children are still regarded as property that can be discarded at will.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by specialguest(f): 11:01am On Dec 12, 2012
greatgod2012: @op, u mean your mum became a widow in 1992, 20yrs ago, when she was 27 yrs old and since then, didnt remarry, if that is true, kudos to her, even million gbosas for her, her type is very rare. She deserve an award.

Exactly! She became a widow on the 12th of december 1992 and never remarried ever since even though she was barely 27 years old at that time she choosed to single handedly raise up her three kids ages 5, 3 and the last was 6months old then... Fastforward to 2012, 20 years later and we are all adults now. Went to some of the best schools in the country and are working in reputable organizations except for the last kid who is still in the university.

The last 20 years hasnt been without challenges as there were moments she cried all through the nights especially when any of us fell sick, sometimes she got queries from work because she put her family first and went to the office late, other times she had to work extra hours just to put all our school fees together etc.. I know there are many more women like my mother out there. I feel their pains and i want to know how they are doing .

6 Likes

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by specialguest(f): 11:08am On Dec 12, 2012
Kobojunkie: @Poster, if you are trying to change the plight of widows, it is required that tradition be changed, else nothing will be achieved. Currently, in much of Nigeria, women, and children are still regarded as property that can be discarded at will.

@kobojunkie considering this is a circumstance that affects almost everyone directly i.e we all have either mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, friends, neighbours or colleques that are widows, cant we change the traditions as individuals gradually? For example the next time someone around you is trying to oppress a widow, you can put a feet a down and say no.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by greatgod2012(f): 11:30am On Dec 12, 2012
specialguest:

Exactly! She became a widow on the 12th of december 1992 and never remarried ever since even though she was barely 27 years old at that time she choosed to single handedly raise up her three kids ages 5, 3 and the last was 6months old then... Fastforward to 2012, 20 years later and we are all adults now. Went to some of the best schools in the country and are working in reputable organizations except for the last kid who is still in the university.

The last 20 years hasnt been without challenges as there were moments she cried all through the nights especially when any of us fell sick, sometimes she got queries from work because she put her family first and went to the office late, other times she had to work extra hours just to put all our school fees together etc.. I know there are many more women like my mother out there. I feel their pains and i want to know how they are doing .

Sincerely, u just made me shed tears while reading and typing this, shes one in a trillion, shes a very strong and determined lovely woman,she deserve an award for this, shes is an exemplary mother.
Pls, im begging u in d name of God, you and your siblings should reciprocate this good gesture of this your great mum, she deserve d best from u guys. May God help you.

2 Likes

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by AtheistD(m): 12:14pm On Dec 12, 2012
A waste of time.

The only time something can be done is if it is written into constitution to give women equal rights as men in regards to property etc and constitution be above traditional and religious laws.

Right now it is tradition that is affecting women. When a man dies all his wealth are normally held onto by his siblings rather than his wife and kids. This is eeally shameful.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Shankboye(m): 12:29pm On Dec 12, 2012
Well my wife and kid won't suffer. Even if they will, it would be liltle..I am 29 yrs and I have a will she does not know about. If anything happen to me today, they should be good

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by berem(f): 12:30pm On Dec 12, 2012
@ specialguest 20years as a widow and she didnt remarry? haba na! for how long is she gonna mourn? that's not fair. life has to go on.you and your siblings would have encouraged her to remarry. at least you need another father figure in you life. I know that traditions could be a setback to some widows, but please let her remarry.I know of some traditions that makes a widow forfeit her late husband's properties immediately she remarries but hey she needs another man in her life. life surely goes on my dear.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by IfyAngela(f): 12:43pm On Dec 12, 2012
berem: @ specialguest 20years as a widow and she didnt remarry? haba na! for how long is she gonna mourn? that's not fair. life has to go on.you and your siblings would have encouraged her to remarry. at least you need another father figure in you life. I know that traditions could be a setback to some widows, but please let her remarry.I know of some traditions that makes a widow forfeit her late husband's properties immediately she remarries but hey she needs another man in her life. life surely goes on my dear.
there are various reasons like 1. Maybe she didn't want to.

2 Likes

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by SELFWORTH: 12:50pm On Dec 12, 2012
Experience has shown:

1. Family tend to grab everything left by the husband even when there is a will becos they know the court of law in Niger is not better than the local buka
2. Most men believe they are immortal so don't write a will
3. Even when they write a will ,they do not make their wishes known to family members hence chaos descends the moment they pass on
4 The will if it exist is never fully accurate e.g excludes all those illegitimate children who suddenly turn up at the graveside looking so much like the deceased
5. No life insurance policy so it can be a struggle all the way
6. Not every child will appreciate what their parents did. Some believe its the duty of the parents to maintain and keep them
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by fapcrook(m): 12:52pm On Dec 12, 2012
@ berem, her not remarryingdoes mot mean she doesnt have a man in her life. I'm sure she has a patner. I think why many women dont want to marry is because of their kids. Kudos to her anyway

2 Likes

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by SELFWORTH: 1:00pm On Dec 12, 2012
Shankboye: Well my wife and kid won't suffer. Even if they will, it would be liltle..I am 29 yrs and I have a will she does not know about. If anything happen to me today, they should be good

You need to let a confidant in your family know. This is the advice given by my solicitor otherwise when the inevitable happens everyone will have a good reason to lay claim to a share. Especially in a money worshipping society like Nigeria .

Appoint an executor as well (not a close relative) and share your wishes with them. Give them a signed copy .

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Nobody: 1:01pm On Dec 12, 2012
My 'fellow' widows have suffered o.

I'll be right back to comment properly.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by yuzedo: 1:01pm On Dec 12, 2012
Na wa!

Omo, abeg my plan is to die with my wife on the same day. When we are 80yrs old and above, in plane crash.

My children go hammer! Free $200,000 insurance money. Abeg, i no wan hear say i turn widower, or i die, leave my sweetie.. Unless we don old well well. She go come join me quickly.
Reminds me of my inlaws.. Man dies at about 70yrs.. The woman is distraught but manages to get past the burial. And then dies. undecided
Omo, no ceremony for am o! Which one be say u know say u no fit live without ur husband, u no quick die so that dem no go do two burials, times two of rice, meat, drinks, etc... No way, everybody vex. sad
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by jeyne(f): 1:10pm On Dec 12, 2012
Shankboye: Well my wife and kid won't suffer. Even if they will, it would be liltle..I am 29 yrs and I have a will she does not know about. If anything happen to me today, they should be good
the tin is not only having her in ur will d main tin is will ur family allow her even if she gets properties frm u, will dey allow her b My mum is aslo a widow its not bin easy 4 her my uncles don't know how I look like now or weather any of us are alive or not.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Shankboye(m): 1:14pm On Dec 12, 2012
jeyne: the tin is not only having her in ur will d main tin is will ur family allow her even if she gets properties frm u, will dey allow her b My mum is aslo a widow its not bin easy 4 her my uncles don't know how I look like now or weather any of us are alive or not.


You are right, I happen to be a Yoruba and my siblings are educated likewise my wife too.... I don't expect such from my family though and if it happens , they know where to go...court of law. Like I said, I don't expect my family to mess with my will else my spirit will fight...lol
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Shankboye(m): 1:18pm On Dec 12, 2012
SELFWORTH:

You need to let a confidant in your family know. This is the advice given by my solicitor otherwise when the inevitable happens everyone will have a good reason to lay claim to a share. Especially in a money worshipping society like Nigeria .

Appoint an executor as well (not a close relative) and share your wishes with them. Give them a signed copy .

Yeah..I have my sister as my confidant, she knew abt it but I don't wanna go any further than that because it might be dangerous sometimes....it' is better u keep it simple considering my age. But as time goes , I will keep modifying it
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by jeyne(f): 1:18pm On Dec 12, 2012
Shankboye:


You are right, I happen to be a Yoruba and my siblings are educated likewise my wife too.... I don't expect such from my family though and if it happens , they know where to go...court of law. Like I said, I don't expect my family to mess with my will else my spirit will fight...lol
let it fight vry hard o. Lol

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by specialguest(f): 1:30pm On Dec 12, 2012
berem: @ specialguest 20years as a widow and she didnt remarry? haba na! for how long is she gonna mourn? that's not fair. life has to go on.you and your siblings would have encouraged her to remarry. at least you need another father figure in you life. I know that traditions could be a setback to some widows, but please let her remarry.I know of some traditions that makes a widow forfeit her late husband's properties immediately she remarries but hey she needs another man in her life. life surely goes on my dear.

I understand where you are coming from but its not like she ever said she wanted to remarry and any of us objected to it.. My mum is really beautiful and she has a couple of suitors that i am aware of however she knows in her heart that if she ever remarried, that step father might never treat her kids as his own, besides who wouldve have married a 27year old woman with three kids? Lately i also found out that a clause was attached to her keeping custody of the children by my uncles since she refused to marry any of them as it is permitted in hausa cultire. on the event that she remarries, she forfiets the custody of her children to her mother in law (my father's mother). So you see Berem it wasnt that easy.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by ziondaughter: 1:30pm On Dec 12, 2012
Widowhood is such a terrible experience especially in Africa. In-laws pretending to love u wen their brother is alive only to turn their backs at you at the news of his death because of how much? Some people are merciless. Every day i pray to God to forgive my in-laws for they know not what they are doing. I tell most people that if u think widowhood is sweet then u will experience it & write ur own story.

I miss my husband every now & then but my hope is in the fact that he is with the Lord. I can go on and on writing cos he was so dear to me. Love n miss u dear till we meet at His feet

2 Likes

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by ziondaughter: 1:33pm On Dec 12, 2012
Shankboye: Well my wife and kid won't suffer. Even if they will, it would be liltle..I am 29 yrs and I have a will she does not know about. If anything happen to me today, they should be good


My friend its not about the will, wen u have crazy siblings any thing goes. Some people do not have respect for the dead cos if my in-laws have they wont treat me the way they are treating me now but i know their brother is seeing them. Just put your trust in God that even if you are gone He will provide for your family because the money you will leave behind will not even be enof to take care of them.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Nobody: 2:10pm On Dec 12, 2012
I am an advocate of both spouses being comfortable in both father and mother roles, so when anyone is widowed the kids won't suffer.
If a wife is solely dependent on her husband no matter how much he leaves if she has no survival skills and is unemployable that money will run out. Next thing they are moving from Maitama to Mpape and kids are put in a lower school, if she gets a job then as a mother with kids who hasn't been emmployed for years she is lucky.
Also if the man is widowed, the kids won't have to be shipped to family members when a man is comfortable being a care giver to his kids. Parenthood is hard work oh.
Kudos to your Mom, I see widows all around me who find it hard to cope financially just years after their husbands die and I also see widows who brave it up and step up.
Everyone is capaable of being strong, depends on how much you are willing to apply your self.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by princeonx: 2:16pm On Dec 12, 2012
specialguest: This thread is dedicated to all widows out there who after losing their husbands assumed the role of head of the house. My mother falls into this category of women, having been a widow since 1992 i sometimes jokingly refer to her as the oldest widow in Nigeria though she is just 47 years old.

In most African marriages, the man is considered the head of the home. A role which certainly comes with a lot of responsibilities and in the sad event that the man passes on, the wife takes over that role with immediate effect. However this transition is mostly never smooth especially in countries like Nigeria. The women face lots of challenges ranging from false accusations by inlaws about the nature/cause of the man's death, to issues regarding claims of money from his bank and place of work, then also fights over property et cetera....

If you are a widow i want to know how you are coping
1. Is the society taking care of you?
2. Are the inlaws allowing you to mourn your husband in peace?
3. Are you able to afford your children's school fees?
4. Are you looking after yourself properly?
5. Are you and your kids feeding well?

And lastly what can we do as individuals to make life more bearable and meaningful to you people?




Hats off to your mom!! Wow! At 47 now, losing her husband in 1992 means she was only about 27yrs when her husband (your dad) passed. Taking up a man's responsibilities at such tender/young age. In Igbo we call such women (okwesili-Eze) meaning she deserve or should be a king if not being a woman.
I was and still in my early 30s when I lost my dad 2yrs ago, he was 72yrs old. The family upkeep and responsibilities automatically fell on me but it wasn't a big adjustment because I've been doing it anyway since I moved to the US in 2000. It's a good relief now though since my sibling all have their own income. Am focusing on me, my wife, and kids now, investing as much as I can both here and in Nigeria just to make life easier for both me and my families.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Mavrick2012: 2:19pm On Dec 12, 2012
Coldfeet: Not yet a widow! Neither is my mum nor anyone close to me! But one thing I know is the widow that needs taking care of is one with young child/ren!
As for coping? its just time I guess.
u said u ar "not YET a widow"?pls tel us,wen do u intend bcomin a widow?
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by princeonx: 2:21pm On Dec 12, 2012
Shankboye: Well my wife and kid won't suffer. Even if they will, it would be liltle..I am 29 yrs and I have a will she does not know about. If anything happen to me today, they should be good
Ojukwu had one too!
Your will might work in the western world and might also work in naija if your folks/family are educated and well to do. If they are broke, hungry, and power/control freaks, your wife go hear ram! Just make sure your wife has access to your account or better still have a joint account (saving, CD) with her.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Ujujoan(f): 3:47pm On Dec 12, 2012
specialguest: This thread is dedicated to all widows out there who after losing their husbands assumed the role of head of the house. My mother falls into this category of women, having been a widow since 1992 i sometimes jokingly refer to her as the oldest widow in Nigeria though she is just 47 years old.

In most African marriages, the man is considered the head of the home. A role which certainly comes with a lot of responsibilities and in the sad event that the man passes on, the wife takes over that role with immediate effect. However this transition is mostly never smooth especially in countries like Nigeria. The women face lots of challenges ranging from false accusations by inlaws about the nature/cause of the man's death, to issues regarding claims of money from his bank and place of work, then also fights over property et cetera....

If you are a widow i want to know how you are coping
1. Is the society taking care of you?
2. Are the inlaws allowing you to mourn your husband in peace?
3. Are you able to afford your children's school fees?
4. Are you looking after yourself properly?
5. Are you and your kids feeding well?

And lastly what can we do as individuals to make life more bearable and meaningful to you people?


Awwww . . . your mother is a true African queen!

My mother became a widow 7 years ago. We (my twin and I) are the last of children and were almost through with our University education. My mum's being taken care of by her children, there's 9 of us . . . so I guess she's not your regular suffering widow!

Still, there's no good time to lose a husband. I remember them both making retirement plans, who knew they'd never get there!

2 Likes

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by ifyalways(f): 4:14pm On Dec 12, 2012
Well, there are also married but widowed women who are not bold/courageous enough to leave their "good-for-nothing" husbands.

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by julius2825: 5:44pm On Dec 12, 2012
Hmmm,i wish things could change with the link of this topic.
My mum became a widow on the 26th of april 2010,that was the day i was writing my mathematics examination in the 2010 waec, may/june,but after his 40 day ceremony his families where no were to be found,the most infuriating case after my dad's death was that,he was a police officer,and since after his death till now his pension and others of his benefits has not been released till date,even despite the whole processes that we have gone through,we have taken much and series of loans just to ensure that it comes out at its appropriate time,there was yet noting to count much on.just of recent november 20+ we had that the reason why we have not been paid,is that ngoze okonjo iweala refuse to pay into the disbursement account.and it has affected my education processes financially.and if the money is not paid before january 10,i would be deprived of another chance in going to the institution.may ngozie's heart be touched and sign the money for payment so that unnecessary suffering would stop.nice topic.

1 Like

Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by Kobojunkie: 5:45pm On Dec 12, 2012
specialguest:

@kobojunkie considering this is a circumstance that affects almost everyone directly i.e we all have either mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, friends, neighbours or colleques that are widows, cant we change the traditions as individuals gradually? For example the next time someone around you is trying to oppress a widow, you can put a feet a down and say no.

Well, guess what? If the women continue to follow traditions that harm them and other women blindly, it is never going to happen. At this point in history, it is more than clear that the power to change things lie in the hands of women. Women raise the sons who go on to OPPRESS other women . . . Woman submit blindly to men who OPPRESS them and eventually other women.

For anyone who will come in to tell inundate us with talk of how precious tradition is, I will refer them to go research the practice of killing of twins, the practice of marking people and outcasts, and human sacrificing(something we still struggle with today in some parts), female genital mutilation etc. which used to be "tradition" in some parts of this same country.

Woman are not dummies . . they are equipped with fullly developed brains to know right from wrong and as long as the women-folk, in their majority continue to turn a blind eye to these problems, it will continue . . . OPPRESSION for them and their daughters to come. Africans pretend they love mothers more yet Africa remains the one place on this planet where, continent-wide, women are treated like second-class citizens next to property, and their daughters are essentially expected to learn to ENDURE life rather than enjoy as their mother's before them.
Re: The Plight Of Nigerian Widows. by biolabee(m): 5:51pm On Dec 12, 2012
Your mum is worthy of great respect and hope u guys can really accomplish her desires so you can take care of her

To counter any bad culture to me requires education and empowerment
There has to be some context to this issue

Trdationally in male dominated societies, property has always been held in the patrilineal line
In the bible, women were not allowed to inherit property so dont think its a Nigerian thing

With education and as women are better empowered, this things are going away albeit slowly but surely

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