Wives always accused of killing their husbands

09th July 2018
Moshaga Source:The Midweek Sun

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By Yvonne Mooka -


When she lost her husband less than two years ago, 33 year-old Gorata Moshaga made it her aim to help other youthful widows through their darkest season.

The Malolwane-born woman is on a mission and her impact among widows is being felt. She holds seminars to encourage them to hold onto each other and to share their pain. She told The Midweek Sun that she is working on starting a movement for widows in Gaborone and surrounding areas. A sales manager in one of the local insurance companies, Moshaga made an observation about what she calls ‘the Black Widow’ syndrome. “Once you lose a husband, rules and restrictions are put before you. You no longer have a mouth or feelings,” she said.

Her take is that there is nothing wrong with culture, except that some communities use it to frustrate the wife. “The challenge is that some use culture to ensure the wife loses her place. However, being a widow doesn’t mean one’s mind and heart have stopped working.  Everyone, except the widow has an opinion,” she said.  For example, some families would not want to involve the wife in the buying of the coffin.

“Even if you are seated (O ribame), they can have a meeting outside your house and just come back and tell you that they have decided on buying a P25 000 coffin without your input, yet demanding that money from you,” she stated. A Christian herself, she said however that she did not observe some of the Setswana rituals associated with Boswagadi. Her take is that families should know their place in their children’s marriages.

“The Bible says a man should leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife…Therefore even when he dies, his wife still comes first,” she said. Some of the decisions often made without the input of the wife, she said, include where to bury the husband, issues of inheritance, accusations that the wife has killed the husband, and victimisation. “Ninety-five percent of the wives have killed their spouses, according to the usual allegations,” she said.

She said that in their movement of close to 40 widows, only two of them were still in good books with their in-laws. “This selfishness cuts across all ages, educated or not. Most of the widows are still going through the pain of being accused of killing their husbands, instead of mourning their husbands,” she said.
She said that fighting for the deceased’s money was also a challenge since children are left to suffer. With victimisation, she said that while widowers are allowed to mingle with people after the funeral, restrictions are put on the widow.

She is not expected to greet people anyhow and she is expected to wear all black (Go roula), while the man would be given a small piece of black cloth to show that he is mourning. “After the funeral no one comes to check up on you. Widows are depressed, and some are still living with scars from many years ago,” she said, concluding by advising widows to give their pain to God.




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