Strange! This Grieving Mother Married a Pregnant 27-Year-Old Woman for Her Late Son … See Why

This seems unbelievable but it is a tradition practiced in some parts of Nigeria.

A retiree, Mary Torkwase Antom, from Tse Baraku, Benue State, has taken a bold step to immortalize her late husband and son’s names by marrying a 27-year-old woman for her son.

Sun News reports that Mary and her husband, Patrick, a retiree of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, were blessed with only one child, Thomas Awuhe, who was born on June 13, 1990.

Sadly, the boy was in SS2 when he died in 2004, from a heart-related sickness. A year later, his father also passed away. That left her devastated.

”Growing old is tough, but growing old without the support and company people close to you is tougher.”

Add to that the fact she is diabetic and you begin to understand why she feels that life can never be tougher than she had seen and may climb to “toughest” if she does not do something drastic to secure not only the family name but also its property.

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”I had lived a happy life with my late husband,” she explained.

We shared ideas and always kept our resources in one account. We achieved a lot during his lifetime, we had very good plans for our only son, but God took him away.

To worsen matters, my husband also died. We have a lot of landed property; we equally have business establishments.

My worry is, when I die, who will take over this property? My husband had, while on sick bed, warned me seriously not to allow any of his relations to benefit from the property that both of us had laboured strenuously to acquire.

He was not in good terms with them before he died.”

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So she made the move to secure not only the family name but also its property. A friend later told her about a pretty young unmarried woman, Juliet Muese, who was on the verge of being disowned by her parents over her inability to identify the person responsible for her pregnancy.

Mrs. Antom aka ‘Hajia Mary’ then sought Juliet’s hand in marriage for her late son, in keeping with Tiv tradition. The parents of Juliet also readily agreed.

The strange marriage that took place in 2007 has produced two boys with the third child on the way, although it is difficult at this stage to say whether it is going to be a boy or a girl.

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To start with, Juliet was delivered of a baby boy on December 1 of the same year.  She became pregnant again and was delivered of another baby boy in March 2011. Right now, she is three-months pregnant with her third child.

While the first son is named after her late son, Thomas Awuhe, the second son is named after her husband.

”I married a wife for my late husband and son so that I can keep their names alive,

Their names cannot just die with them; they will grow up and inherit what we laboured for. Any other person in my shoe would have done that.

I lost my husband and only son; more painful was my son who died unmarried. But I’m fulfilled that my late son now has two male children who are bearing his name.

I looked at life and asked whether it was really worth it. I hope for death every day. Any time I wake up, I think about what the future holds since my husband and only son are late. They have gone leaving me alone.

Their death till date is agonizing to me. But my consolation is that I have got a replacement for them.”

”What I did is a well-known practice in our place and culture,” she said in defence.

”There are a lot of children, almost 18% of them born after their father’s death. These children answer their father’s name.

Juliet is comfortable answering my son’s name. She wrote JAMB and I’m processing her admission to the Federal University, Lafia,” she said.

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On her part, Juliet says:

”That is God’s design for my life. My parents were fully prepared to shame me that I got pregnant while in the secondary school.

I was very young then and could not tell exactly who among my boyfriends impregnated me. But I strongly suspected one Mark, but he denied and ran away. I was desperate without a place to go until Hajia came, so for me I’m very okay.

I have no problem, in fact I’m doing better than those who got married to living husbands.

Hajia is planning to buy a car for me next year if I secure a university admission. It is unfortunate that I never met my late husband.

I only see his pictures but that is how God designed it. As you can see, I’m looking sweet and people toast me a lot, but I shun them. At the moment, I have a boyfriend who is a student at the state university, Keffi.

Though Hajia does not teleguide me but I make sure she does not know when I have sex with my guy. She deserves that respect.

My first son’s biological father denied him.

My second son’s biological father who is a student at Keffi is married. He is equally responsible for this very one l’m carrying, but he cannot come and claim them. So, there is no problem. I’m good to go.”

The village head in Doma LGA, Chief Angbande Hue, said what happened is a known tradition among his people, adding that the tradition was very rampant in the 60s.

Photo credit: Sun News

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