In my neighborhood, there lived a woman not too far from my house who sold cooked food and she was nicked named ‘’Mami koki”. I grew up to know that she was the owner of the house she lived in. One summer holiday while spending some time in my house i noticed new faces in that compound and when I asked about the where about of ‘’Mami koki” I was told the following about her:
- ''She was chased out of that house by her brothers children, these children claimed that it was their father’s house
- That the brother of the afore mentioned lady had just died and his children came to claim their father’s property
- That this said brother was a military man and he decided to resign and return to his village to take care of his late father’s cocoa farms.
‘’Mami Koki’’ stranded and overwhelm by the action of the brothers children left the house and relocated to a single room on rents which she could afford to pay. Finally from all indications “Mami koki” was without a share of inheritance from her father''.
Similar stories can be told of women suffering the same fate like ‘’mami Koki’’ infact I know of two of my mother’s friends who died mysteriously because they decided to speak up against their brother’s misuse and even selling of cocoa farms left behind by the Family head. In this same light a story is told of another man in my neighborhood who killed his brother by slaughtering him with a machete because the two brothers were fighting over an inherited farm. This problem is common especially in rural areas and villages, there:
- It is common to see brothers killing brothers, brothers killing sisters or even siblings eliminating their parents because of Family inheritance
- It is also common to see members of the same family taking each other to court because of disagreement on who is going to inherit what
- Most of the time women are left with no inheritance because they do not know their rights concerning inheritance or more so are not financially viable to take up the matter to the judiciary.
- Even when there is money parties concern with inheritance spend most of their earnings in court and the circle of poverty continues.Since the majority of families in rural areas and villages in Cameroon depend on the cultivation of cocoa for their livelihood there is a need for these population to be sensitize on peaceful and sustainable management of family inheritance such that everyone has a fair share of it especially where there is no will to this effect
This post was submitted in response to Ushering in Peace in 2018.