#IStandWithher/ My widow mom & others

mummy BELLE
Posted December 8, 2019 from Cameroon
Widows of my life
Widows of my life: From left to right, my late uncle's wife, me in the middle and my mom . The small house at the back is my dad's vault. (1/1)

My dad died at the age of 53 leaving behind widows as he was a polygamist.

As per his family his widows and children where not his next of kin but his senior brother who had to take over the administration of his estate. This man acquired letters of administration with fake documents and the battle of administration began. He sold landed property without the consent of the beneficiaries

Mom the first wife was the person to destroy since she is not from the same village so they had to stigmatize her by making stories how she killed her husband. I love her for her small size but doing her things as she ought to without considering what people say.

Standing by at my early 20s I was also finger pointed as being due for marriage so i should stop looking at my  heritage since i was considered property to hand over to a man.

Some of my dad's relatives decided that my moms are betrothed traditionally to my dad's brother. Is this tradition not repugnant to natural justice and good conscience? 

Widows are victims of GBV since they do not consent to anything that is decided by their late husband's family. This is a typical tradition in the grass field and other parts of Cameroon.

Widows  are objectified as they have no say and cannot chose the direction for their existence.

I stood up to say it was not happening and was ushered to shut up and listen to men talk and take decisions on our behalf.

My brother was helpless as he was also stigmatized by their stories, what can a young man who never grew up in that village say when they threaten him with all sort of curses to befall him. Thanks God he had me who could go the extra mile without fear of being cursed or "Country Fashion go catch you" Like i cared

My journey to standing up against injustice took a different turn, I became recalcitrant and decided to stand up against the injustices against widows. They have the right to redesign their lives and make choices that they think is 

I stand with my widows against all odds.

Make the choice you want, assert yourself and live with the loss of your husband and fall in love again if you feel you need a companion.

Women need to define themselves and not let society give them a definition of them.

# I STAND WITH HER

This story was submitted in response to #IStandWithHer.

Comments 25

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Ngobesing Linda
Dec 08, 2019
Dec 08, 2019

Brave ! Let's keep speaking up and standing up against these injustices. We are in this together .

mummy BELLE
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Thanks for the message of encouragement as we stand up together against GBV.

Tarke Edith
Dec 08, 2019
Dec 08, 2019

Hello dear sister
You are welcome to world pulse.
Thank you for sharing this issue of widows who maginalised in our community today.
We will not stop talking sis till it reaches the masses .
Have a nice stay here with us .

mummy BELLE
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Standing up against Injustice is what we all should do for a better tomorrow

Jill Langhus
Dec 09, 2019
Dec 09, 2019

Hi Mummy Belle,

Congrats on posting your first story! I'm glad you're speaking up for widows. It sounds like it's sorely needed:-( Do you have a NGO, work for one, or are you planning on creating one? Please keep up the great work! I'm looking forward to hearing more about what you're doing to help these marginalized women in your community.

mummy BELLE
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Thanks Jill, My NGO is the Network for Solidarity Hope & Empowerment n we are based in Douala. We are currently on our " It Starts from me" Ending Sexual violence in our communities.
In collaboration with H4AB we organised the first ever sensitization walk (Caravan) in Douala and Yaounde last November.

Cheers

Jill Langhus
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

You're welcome!

Thanks for sharing. Do you have a website and/or social media page(s) that we can like/follow? Sounds great. Looking forward to hearing more about it. Oh, okay. You're a friend of the amazing Marie, then:-) Great to hear!

mummy BELLE
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Our Facebook page is The Network for Solidarity Hope & Empowerment and our website is www.networkofhopeandempowerment.org.

Regards

Jill Langhus
Dec 13, 2019
Dec 13, 2019

Okay, great! I liked your FB page now. Thanks for sharing:-)

lizzymark
Dec 09, 2019
Dec 09, 2019

So great a thing to do,this is an encouragement to them, hope you are doing great. Thanks for shearing

mummy BELLE
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Thanks am doing great

Anita Shrestha
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Dear Sis
Thank you for sharing

mummy BELLE
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Thanks for reading

lizzymark
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

You are welcome dear. Thanks too

Lisbeth
Dec 10, 2019
Dec 10, 2019

Dear Sister,
A big congrats on your post and a warm welcome to wold pulse.
It sad you have to experience such a tragedy. Are those your father's widows in the picture.

This is the typical issue in Africa and I know what you talking about. It's just unfortunate with our cultures here.
How are you? Hope you are doing ok?
Warm regards

mummy BELLE
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

My mom, my late uncles wife and me center. My mom is the only surviving wife now

Lisbeth
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Oh okay. Sorry!
Thanks

Felicitas Wung
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Bravo Mummy Belle and welcome to world pulse.

mummy BELLE
Dec 11, 2019
Dec 11, 2019

Thank You Felicitas

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Dec 13, 2019
Dec 13, 2019

Dear Mummy Belle, congratulations on standing up for your Mom and the other wives.
It is too often that we hear of sad unjust stories stemming from cultural or religious beliefs that has no factual claim in reality.
We stand up strong everyday to combat inequality, sexual harassment and violence. I am a firm believer in teaching our male children while they are young to respect mothers, women and girls. Together we can break the ongoing controlling injustices that befall women globally.
Cheers to your strength of courage, together we stand, divided we fall.

mummy BELLE
Dec 17, 2019
Dec 17, 2019

Thank you queen.
The issue with African women is that we want to live a life designed by society to us.
I stand straight up and crushing all the practices that some patriarchal society is trying to impose on me.
My take is until we as women stand up against this practices they will continue, we need to make our fellow men understand that.

Thank God we have a generation of young men who understand the ills and are backing out.
24 years gone am still standing even though i was threatened to be killed I still go back to my roots where my dad is buried without fear.

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Dec 17, 2019
Dec 17, 2019

Dear Mummy Belle #westandwithyou 100%!
Believe that. The patriarch male society ruled system must end and we will NOT allow this nonsense in our African communities and villages. Say NO!
Thank you for sharing and spreading awareness. Stay strong!

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Dec 17, 2019
Dec 17, 2019

Good Work you are doing standing and promoting the rights of widows. It is shame that in the 21st Century, Africa is still dealing with these barbaric issues while in other climes Women are taking over.
More power to your Elbow and may God Strengthen you
Please follow back
One Love

mummy BELLE
Dec 17, 2019
Dec 17, 2019

Thank you Ola

ANJ ANA
Dec 18, 2019
Dec 18, 2019

Dear Mummy Belle,
Thank you for sharing your story/experience and stand/working for one of the most vulnerable groups (widow). Widows are being deprived socially and economically and even they have to go through lots of emotional vulnerability in our country too.
Keep working and writing on this issue, please.
all of you three look nice in the picture. My regards to your mother and aunt.
my best wishes for achieving the good result of our organization,
Anjana