I LOST ALL MY PILLARS OF STRENGTH,SO I MADE MYSELF A PILLAR.

Gisele Beer
Posted August 27, 2017 from Cameroon

“To prove that you did not kill your husband, our son, you have to drink this dirty water that we have used in bathing your dead husband,” family members forced my mum. “I am not drinking this water, I did not kill my husband,” my mum replied.

That was the beginning of our problems in life. That was the beginning of my problems.

As young as I was, I could still remember the day I lost my dad. I was only 6 years old, but the pictures of the circumstances surrounding his death are evergreen in my memory. My names are Tapea Gisele, am 25years old. Dad was a soldier, one who served his country diligently. But unfortunately, he fell ill and died as a young soldier. The death of my dad caused so much pain to my mum who had me and my siblings to look after.

When my daddy died, my mum was accused by members of my paternal family, of killing her husband. According to them, she was interested in taking charge his financial benefits in his absence. Mommy went through so much torture from my paternal family as they asked her to drink the water they used in bathing my dad's corpse to prove her innocence. As tradition demands, her hair was shaved after four days. Later on, they asked her to swear an oath in the shrine of a sorcerer that she didn't killed her husband. As if that was not enough, my mum was beaten and treated poorly by her in-laws because they felt she was responsible for daddy’s death and she was also taking daddy’s benefits. The problems continued and finally mommy was deprived of everything she and her husband had worked. All household and landed property was taken away from her; from eating spoons to matrimonial bed. Mommy had to pack her few dresses and those of her children and returned to her father’s compound. She was bound to start life from scratch. She had all her children looking up to her, but there was no one to support her. The struggle was real, the hustle just got started from then on. Mommy did all types of petit trading you can think of, with startup capital as little as $20, just to make ends meet. We had to attend school, and have something to eat, at least, and so mum had to hustle to see us through. Mum was only in her early 30s but she was working tirelessly, working a double day, if not a triple day, just to make her children happy.

As time went on, mommy became very ill and she later on died at the age of 40 leaving me and my 4 siblings all by ourselves. She was a super woman, she fought for her children tirelessly. May her gentle soul rest in peace.

The journey of a full orphan begun from here, for me. I was just 14years old and it was very unbearable for me and my little ones. It was so difficult living in a world without. It came with so many struggles; the uncertainty of the next meal, poor education, lack of finance, vulnerable children, lack of parental guidance, sexual advancements and harassments, lack of control – the list can go on. Things were so hard for us because our father's family who had the means of helping us didn't want to render any form of help because to them we had a witch for a mom but thank God we all worked very hard and our today is better than our yesterday by the grace of God. I can’t recount the struggles I made, I can’t recount the sacrifices I made, I can’t tell of the amount of tears I shed during those dark days – the story is long, really long, but the good news is that we made it. As an orphan, I always reminded myself that my education was key and so I never let any man to deceive me. I battled with it and I got to where I could in my education. So too did my younger ones.

Am actually on a mission to empower orphans in my community. Being an orphan, one who understands the dark moments of orphans, I am ready to stand in the gap for them. Am teaching them how to stay focused and involved in income generating activities that can see them through school. I am already helping a few of them and I am hoping to help more as my resources grow.

To all the widows in the world, I am asking you to be strong and stay focused. Try by all means to send your children to school; they will make you smile tomorrow. For orphans, especially female orphans, and young ladies in general, education and entrepreneurship is very important, ladies should no longer depend on men but rather stand on their feet by engaging themselves in many activities that can help them through life without depending on a man. To our government, I wish they enact laws and follow up to protect widows who face torture after the death of their husbands.

Comments 7

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Jill Langhus
Aug 27, 2017
Aug 27, 2017

Hi Gisele. Welcome to World Pulse:-) Thanks for sharing your sad but empowered story with us. You have so much strength, love and determination. I just can't get over these stories about women, who are already suffering due to the death of their husband and then vilified on top of that trauma. How does that happen, and more so why does it get passed down from generation to generation, presumably:-( I would like to learn more about your mission, though. Do you have a business website or Facebook/Twitter pages to follow?

Gisele Beer
Aug 27, 2017
Aug 27, 2017

Thanks for the encouragement sister jlanghus.I haven't created  a page but I will do that soon.ur write-up gives me more strength thanks a lot.u can get me through [email protected].

Jill Langhus
Aug 28, 2017
Aug 28, 2017

You're welcome:) I almost didn't see your response since it wasn't a reply, FYI. I'm glad that you feel inspired to write more:-) You can private message me, if you like. I don't like to put my personal information on the pages, such as this one, as it's a public forum. You may want to consider removing your personal email address from your response, as well. Hope to see more posts from you soon...

Nakinti
Aug 28, 2017
Aug 28, 2017

Dear Gisele,

You are such a powerful woman to be able to stand the pressure of being orphan at that tender age. I can imagine what you went through to take care of yourselves and younger ones. Continue to do what you love doing, especially the connection you have with orphans and underprivileged girls. Keep doing good for the good of humanity. I wish you the best.

Sending you love

Nakinti

Gisele Beer
Aug 28, 2017
Aug 28, 2017

Thanks alot aunty Nakinti.u are the brain behind the strength to write this story.the encouragement makes me to stay focus.I pray God sees me through in this my course.

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 02, 2017
Sep 02, 2017

Dear Gisele,

What you, your mother and your siblings went through is horrifying and something no one on earth should ever have to experience. By telling your story you show what amazing strength and resilience both you and your mother have found by continuing to act from your beautiful hearts. You have written your story with such openness and honesty, and describing so importantly how you have tapped into your own wisdom by finding and nurturing your deepest dreams. This not only will encourage many young women who are facing similar giant hurdles, you also generate such hope for all of us to be able to witness your journey. You are amazing!

Much love in sisterhood,

Tam 

Gisele Beer
Sep 03, 2017
Sep 03, 2017

Thanks Tam,that's life in Africa.what doesn't kills makes one stronger. This incidents made me to be so brave and courageous.thanks sis.