She was full of life, even when her situation looked unenviable.
She accepted her situation as destiny, remained steadfast in her service to humanity by being a source of encouragement not only to other widows but also to orphans.
Esther Nuhu, 48, and from Kaduna State, narrated her story to Sunday Vanguard and why she became part of the Christian Care for Widows, Widowers, The Aged and Orphans (CCWA).
Her narration at an outreach organised by the CCWA for orphans in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) caught the attention of Sunday Vanguard when she said: “How I lost my five children remains a mystery.” She sounded pathetic but joyous as she was seen after the outreach playing with orphans around her and every one of them, teenagers and little children, rushing to her, and calling her, ‘ Mummy! Mummy!’ . Though Esther lost her husband 15 years ago, she had lost three of her children before the demise of the husband to malaria.
She explained that the last of her daughter died at the age of 19 after the death of her husband, rendering her childless.
Her words: “I lost my husband 15 years ago to malaria. I had five children but none is alive. I cannot explain; the loss is a mystery and it is only God that can tell. I lost three of them when my husband was alive and I lost two after the death of my husband.
“It has not been easy to be without a child, without a husband, but my survival is God’s doing. I became part of CCWA when I lost my husband and all hope was gone. I was introduced to them (CCWA) and I went for their annual convention.
“Since I came in to CCWA, I have not remained the same. They have taught me many things, in terms of training; making of soap and other things; if you are a woman and they trained you on something, you don’t have to pay for it.
“Sometimes, they give you loan to start something on our own. Not all organizations do that. When you go to other organizations, the best they will give you is a bowl of rice and they forget about you.”
Speaking in an interview after the programme, the President of CCWA, Prof. Deborah Ajakaiye, called for the abolition of obnoxious laws and cultures against widows, just as she admonished Nigerians to show love to the less privileged.
She said more people were being impoverished due to the insecurity in the country.
Ajakaiye: “ The Bible teaches us to be Christ like by being our brothers’ keepers. Many widows would have survived sudden the demise of their husbands, but due to heartless relatives and obnoxious culture, they are grounded and probably die”.
The organisation, according to her, was launched 24 years ago and had impacted many lives positively through scholarship to orphans, skill acquisition as well as free medical services.
Ajakaiye revealed: “CCWA has awarded scholarships to 663 orphans studying in various institutions; 292 in primary school, 326 in secondary and 45 in tertiary institutions.
“We have been able to train over 1,600 widows in skill acquisition including soap making, bead stringing, dress making, insecticide, air freshener, nylon craft, tie and dye, mentholated/talcum powder, wick for kerosene stove, fruit drinks and beverages.
“CCWA conducted counseling and education programmes on HIV/AIDS, BP, diabetes and eye diseases for over 2,500 members, tested 884 widows for these ailments, and distributed over 201 eye glasses and thousands of multivitamins to widows in our various districts in addition to food and clothing materials.”