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Widows Plight: Martha Anayo | Rock of Ages

The case of Martha Anayo, a 33 year old Nigerian widow who is registered with Rock of Ages Empowerment Foundation, is very significant. She narrated that her husband, an Igbo man from the Eastern part of Nigeria, had died after a very brief case of common cold with symptoms of vomiting and coughing. He died leaving her with a one-month old son as well as a little four-year old daughter. According to her, she was detained in the village for nine months to mourn her deceased husband and upon her return, she discovered that their house rent had almost expired. When she turned to her deceased husband’s father for help in paying off their rent, she was ordered to prepare herself to have sexual intercourse with several other men in a bid to get pregnant as she needed to have more children in her deceased husband’s name. When Martha refused, her father-in-law threatened to take away her two children from her and keep them away until she “obeyed him” and had more children like he had ordered. Since then, she has been deprived of every form of financial or other support from her late husband’s family and she has had to depend on charity to keep her daughter in school and to provide shelter and food for her and the children. She has also been in a state of perpetual fear of losing her children to her father-in-law who has inserted himself in a position of authority over her life. Martha admitted that she is constantly looking over her shoulder every waking hour, fearful that her deceased husband’s father might show up at any moment and snatch her children, her only source of joy, away from her leaving her utterly and completely alone