5 Nigerian Widows Talk Life After Their Husbands’ Deaths

July 14, 2020

Conversations around how different cultures and segments of the Nigerian society treat women, especially widows have piqued recently. Culturally, we know about harmful practices that Nigerian women are faced with when their husbands die. We know how widow’s rights to properties are limited and the challenges with remarriage. We wanted to hear first hand experiences, so we asked 5 widows about life after their husband’s deaths.

Here’s what they told us:

Mrs. Julie, 54

My husband died in 2005. While he was alive, I didn’t know that he had properties here and there. We lived in a rented space, me, him and my daughter. It was after he died that we now started hearing about properties here and there and family members coming out from different places to claim their own share. At first, I thought that we were lucky because my husband left a will. In the will, he left a few things to my daughter. Television, fridge, sewing machine, things like that. He didn’t leave anything to me though. Then we found out that he left the bulk of everything in his account and also some properties to a wife and sons that he had outside. I almost died. I’ve since gotten remarried, but if men can be that wicked, just know that now, I’m wiser and walking with precaution.

Mrs Bisi, 45: 

My husband was sick for a while before he died. I’m a Christian, so I wasn’t supposed to think about him dying. I wasn’t supposed to plan ahead because it would be like I was planning for him to die. However, my head wasn’t going to let what happened to my mother happen to me. After my father died, my uncles sent my mother out of the house my father built and she had no place to go. 

So I started planning before my husband died. I hid all the important documents and changed the locks to the house. I told my children to be on guard too. I ensured that I knew of all his properties and even asked him to write a will. He didn’t write the will, but I thank God no one came to claim anything upon his death. 

Will I get married again? I don’t know. My children have been encouraging me to get married, but I’m not ready.

Mrs Victoria, 74: 

I’m my husband’s second wife. His first wife died at least 10 years before he died. We got married shortly after she died. They had like 6 children together. I don’t have any children for my husband. I knew that the children didn’t like me from the beginning. So I was expecting them to throw me out of the house when he died. They didn’t. They even give me a monthly allowance for upkeep. However, before he died, some of his relatives came to the house and started ransacking the house, looking for what to carry. I was not around because I was with my husband in the hospital. I am fortunate that some of the tenants alerted OPC members to go and deal with them, if not, they would have carried everything. They haven’t tried to do anything since then. As for marriage, ah, my time don pass.

Mrs Chika, 38

We had just gotten married when my husband died. I was pregnant. It wasn’t even up to two days before his brothers and sisters started showing themselves. They cleaned up the apartment from the cars, to the night wear he wore to bed. They took everything. I was devastated and helpless. If I tell you that they took all the food in the fridge along with the fridge, you won’t believe me. I remember that there was bread, the bottom of bread and a small plastic of butter. They took it. It was difficult deciding to go back in with my parents, but I went back and they welcomed me. That’s where I’ve raised my son since then.

Even after everything one of my husband’s sisters told me that while I’m raising their son, I must NOT remarry. I’m interested in marriage just because of that.

Mrs. Bola, 62

My husband and I were already separated before he died. We had serious issues and were on our way to a divorce. However, he died before that happened and people started accusing me of witchcraft and of killing him. They didn’t know just how much of his money was my money, or how much of ‘his’ properties actually belonged to me. So when they tried to come in and take it all, I too showed them I was mad. I’ve been dating since before we even separated. I even moved in with one of the men. My children said, no mummy, it’s too soon, it’s this, it’s that. But is it their life? As for marrying again, I don’t think I can. Life is better without men.


*Answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.

RECOMMENDED: We Asked 4 Elderly Widows About Their Views On Remarriage

You'll like this

Ope Adedeji

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

Watch

Now on Zikoko

October 22, 2020

Let’s start here: On the 20th of October, 2020, armed men of the Nigerian army allegedly shot at peaceful protesters in the recent #EndSars movement. It is estimated that at least twelve people were killed in Lagos, and hundred more were injured around Nigeria. In light of this unfortunate and avoidable incident, we decided to […]

October 22, 2020

This article contains updates on occurrences related to the general national unrest outside Lagos that you might have missed. We’ll keep updating it. Seyi Makinde addressing protesters in Ibadan The Oyo State Governor took to the streets of Ibadan yesterday to address protesters and the general public and to tell them that peace would return […]

October 22, 2020

Yesterday, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu addressed the state following the massacre of innocent civilians at the Lekki toll-gate the previous night. Here’s the speech. After watching him struggle for over seven minutes to deliver his speech, we were able to pick out some of the stuff we couldn’t just stand. See: 1. The lies […]

Recommended Quizzes

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

More from Inside Life

October 17, 2020

Although non-members of the LGBTQ+ community are harassed when profiled as “gay”, a lot of people believe that the QueerNigerianLivesMatter hashtag is unnecessary. Members of the LGBTQ+ community, like many Nigerians, are fighting for their right to exist. They are victims of police brutality. So, we spoke to some queer Nigerian protesters to tell us […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.
September 24, 2019
A group of Zikoko staff go on a road trip to every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X