Review: “God’s Wives” – Bolanle Olukanni’s Widow-Themed Documentary

I have never really cried after seeing a movie or reading a book. I always feel like there is no need for me to waste my tears because I feel it’s not worth it, but I cried after watching this documentary. This is partly because knowing what these widows go through, I’m impressed that a young lady who doesn’t even have any widowed family member is so passionate about helping widows.

‘God’s Wives’ is a call to attention on the plights of widows in today’s’ contemporary Nigeria. Many of us are ignorant of the fact that most of these widows really suffer. I mean, they still get baselessly accused of killing their husbands and then stripped off everything they have left because someone that ‘murdered’ is not supposed to have anything. Bolanle made us know that even if these widows have no husband to take care of them, they are God’s wives. God is the father of the fatherless and the husband to the widows.

The producer of the documentary Bolanle Olakunle, speaking on why she decided to do a documentary and not a movie said, “I wanted to have the real faces of the people who those Nollywood stories are inspired by”. Nkechi, the first character in the documentary was married to a wealthy husband, but he died of kidney failure. Unfortunately, Nkechi was a housewife with children. She could not take care of her kids anymore; she couldn’t even afford to pay the house rent or save anything for her kids’ school fees. They moved out of their 3-bedroom flat to a nasty one-room. To take care of herself and her kids, she had to sweep her former compound and sell ugu at Oyinbo market, but the money was not forthcoming and her late husband’s friends didn’t care about her. She also wanted to remarry, but in her culture, as a widow, you will have to leave your children behind and she wasn’t ready for that. Nkechi told NET that a friend of hers who is a widow introduced her to Self Worth Organisation. She went on to say that the organisation has helped her a lot. She now knows how to make dresses now and amazingly, she even made the dress she was wearing to the event. The Organisation also gave her a sewing machine when she was done with learning and has given her 30 thousand naira one certain time too.

Founder Self Worth Organisation, Mrs Nkechi, Bolanle Olakunle, Mrs Chinwe (L – R)

Chinwe, the second character in the documentary told NET that self-worth has helped her self-esteem. Before Chinwe’s husband died, everything was fine. Her husband made sure they were comfortable. Chinwe had a shop where she sold frozen goods but after the death of her husband, her landlady made her close the shop. As a hustler, she got another thing to do, but her landlady threw her and her kids out of the house. She got to know about Self Worth Organisation from her ‘Co-Wife’ who Is a widow and since then, her life has changed. She also made the dress she was wearing.

Mrs Nkechi

The founder of Self Worth Organisation told NET that Bolanle has been very helpful to the organization, she has been the one footing almost all the bills. The award-winning media personality made sure that the widows who were done with their training were given ovens, makeup kits and sewing machines. She also makes out time from her tight schedule to visit the centre every week to encourage the women. However, they still need help. There are ten machines in the centre with over 70 widows. The organisation is asking for help from the government, NGOs and well-meaning individuals to help them with funds and equipment for the centre.

This post first appeared on NET.

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