Cloaked in mourning clothes, Eva Afia Mfodwo poured out the humiliation and pain grieving wives suffer because of this cultural practice. According to Mfodwo, aside from the pain of losing a spouse, widows are made to dress in depressing drabs, wear bells on their legs and drink concoctions prepared from herbs.
“Imagine having a bell tied to your ankle just to announce your presence where ever you find yourself. As though the pain of losing a loved one is not enough, these women grapple with wearing mourning clothes for an entire year. Imagine having to drink a concoction every morning, and only God knows what it’s made of. There seems to be no gender equality and fairness here as women are the only ones who perform these rites. But women are warriors whose spirits can’t be crushed.”
Mfodwo recommended fixes for these tortuous activities that cause emotional and psychological trauma to its victims. Instead of a year’s confinement, Mfodwo believes that widows should work and their earnings to cushion the family in such turbulent times. She also proposed that perhaps the time allocated for wearing mourning clothes could be reduced t a few months to allow widows to reintegrate into society faster. Mfodwo is firmly against the strang concoctions which cause infections and other health issues.
Sarfoa from the Ashanti region followed closely with speechifying performance on the demerits of the matrilineal system of inheritance and ways it can be improved to benefit all. Another contender for this category was Setor, with a persuasive performance on how herbal and orthodox medicines can unite to curb the mental illness menace.
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By Grace Somuah-Annan|3news.com|Ghana]]>