Just yesterday i read this post,which i did re-blog, this Yellow Igbo Girl, Chiamaka O.,i wish i knew what the O stood for, Chiamaka has pulled my fingers sort of, now i’m dragged into her world of a seemingly gender equality movement,she would so disclaim this.
Talking about tradition and customs in West Africa and how they tell on women, Chiamaka said f*****g women up,i rather go softly but firm. African widows are expected to dress in black three months to one year in mourning the death of husbands. Buchi Emecheta in her novel, The Bride Price (1976), describes the thoughtlessness with which most African widows are informed about the loss of their partners: “Before Ma Blackie could guess that her husband was dead, she was stripped of her clothes and given an older, torn set to put on. A place on the cement floor was cleared for her to sit and cry and mourn for her dead husband”, i am not just going to write about the widows, but i think a woman whose husband is still alive has a bit of insurance maybe.
My aunt and uncle had done what they’d always wanted to
do and now had the power to do so—gotten rid of my
mother. Under tribal law, everything my father had owned
now belonged to them, his house, his van, his money,
everything. Even Babs and I, the only two children left in
the house, were now theirs. They’d allowed my mother to
remain in the house for four months and ten days in
accordance with tribal law. Then they’d given her a share
of his money—the widow is supposed to get one-third—
and they’d told her to go. My mother had been evicted from
her home. I lost my father. And now I’d lost my mother
too. A story from Fauziya Kassindja.
Chiamaka,i am giving you inside story now.
The umuada are a very powerful pressure group in Igboland, notorious for their strict treatment of widows.
The motives behind their insistence that widows adhere to traditions that dehumanize women are yet to be determined.
Oh i am coming down hot on this topic,or so i suppose.