Written By Nkechi Amunike, Onyeka Precious, Ogechi Udogu, Onyeka Ezike, Chisom Obi
Ukwulu is a village located in Dunukofia Local Government Area in Anambra State. Five tourists from OK Africa interested in human angle stories went on a tour to explore the lives of Widows in Ukwulu.
As we all know, Tourism is the act of visiting another region or jurisdiction for a particular purpose. We are here to find out how the community aids widows, how they ease the burden for them and not make them feel the loss, the emptiness and hole left behind by the loss of their husbands. Most importantly, how they are being treated in their various meetings (age groups), families, how they cope in feeding and catering for their children. Our finding was very interesting.
We came across two women identified simply as Mrs. Ability popularly known as Nwunye Ability and Mama Chiadi. Despite their busy daily schedule they made out time to have a brief interview with us.
From what we gathered, Nwunye Ability is not from Ukwulu rather she was married into Ukwulu Community, in her words, “ò kwa ije di kam biara” meaning I was married into this town.
Speaking to OK Africa, Mrs Ability said that she lost husband in 2017 to an illness, in that same year she lost one of her kids and is now left with two, a girl and a boy who are in Jss3 and Primary 5 respectively.
She said being a widow in Ukwulu, just like in every other town is very challenging.
“People might laugh at you when you come to beg them for something so you need a source of livelihood to support your family.
Mrs. Ability went further saying that instead of going out to look for or ask for help, one should rather invest that time in doing something lucrative else you’ll die of hunger and frustration. She started a business, rented a shop where she sells provisions and foodstuffs. Mrs. Ability supported this business of hers by roasting Corn and pear.
From our observation, whenever the kids go to school, she is basically in the shop and when they are back and done with their chores and homework, they take over the shop while she roasts her corn which she does only in the evening.
Mama Chiadi, the other widow OK Africa met, lost her husband in 2012. Mama Chiadi unlike Nwunye Ability is from Ukwulu. Her late husband left her behind with 2 kids, she has since 2012 been catering for them. How does she really cater to her needs? Well, it seems provisions and foodstuffs have been saving lives. Mama Chiadi also has a provision shop too, she combines it with foodstuffs.
” Mrs. Ebele Obiano, wife to the governor of Anambra State is the only one that calls up widows to a venue and distribute foodstuffs to us, especially during special occasions like Christmas”, Mama Chiadi said. She added that apart from the governor’s wife, they do not look up to anyone for help.
Mama Chiadi on a final note said that widows also support themselves by farming and setting up petty businesses like selling of fruits, okpa, etc.
Ok Africa Crew observed a whole lot from their tour. Recounting their arrival to Nwunye Ability’s spot where she roasts her corn, Yes, her spot was in front of someone’s shop, but when the tourists arrived, the owner of the shop scolded her to take her guests somewhere else as we were blocking his shop. The tourists explained to him that their visit was brief, but he paid deaf ears and walked out on us, leaving his shop to sit at a bar beside his shop. The widow couldn’t say anything, so the tourists had to shift to one corner to avoid “blocking” his shop.
The trip to Ukwulu was very interesting. Widows in that community are really strong-willed and hard working.