Is my sister-in-law up to something?

Dear BMW,

My brother recently passed on. At the funeral, his wife (my sister-in-law) put up a show I will never forget. The woman has no shame. We watched in shock as she rolled on the ground and bad-mouthed people, including family members.

She said ‘we had killed him, her neigbhours had killed him and the church people were devils, had killed him’. Up to date, my family has no idea what she was talking about. All we could do is bury our heads in shame. Is this how we mourn our dead?

Yet, this is the very woman who has been calling our brother a dog! Biggie, my sister-in-law runs a successful business and she is well-to-do but she never paid anything towards his medical bills or lifted a finger to care for him when he was sick. Her excuse: ‘His MG2’s should take care of him’.

But when my brother kicked the bucket, she rushed to the morgue to collect his body as if MG2’s wanted to steal it. On his burial, she begged adzukulu to bury her alive with her husband and threatened that if they did not heed her wishes she would throw herself in the dead man’s grave. 

BMW, why was she mourning my brother like this? Is she keeping a secret that our family does not know? My family feels humiliated by her. We need your wisdom, old man.

What should we do with her?

Mbwenu, via WhatsApp Kanjedza, Blantyre


Dear Mbwenu,

My brother, slow down, she was just emotional. Women, especially African women, do cry at the burial of their husbands that much because of the fear of the unknown? Even if she stopped loving him a long time ago, a woman is still expected to cry a river.

Imagine if she had put on her best clothes, slayed her best shoes, powdered her face like our famous female politician, and swayed her hips during the funeral. Don’t you think the community would have branded her Jezebel or a witch?

Man, our society makes us do things we are not supposed to do. We get married because the community expects us to do so. We bore children when inside we feel like children ourselves.  We cry like a baby at a funeral for someone we barely know—sometimes we even shock people when we crying so loud, ‘atateee, atatee mwandisiya ndekha’ when the person who has died is a child.

Mbwenu, if you were in your sister-in-law’s shoes, you would have cried too. She is a widow now and the process of migrating to widowhood can be painful.

But that said, I agree with you, this woman has something hidden under her skirt. A knife possibly or his cheque books. But that is for me to speculate. Wives are the loudest mourners depending on what they are inheriting. Why waste your energy when all you are inheriting are debts?

But again you say your sister-in-law has her own money, so why would a woman who has a fat bank account and used to call her hubby a dog break the glass ceiling? Why still cry as much as the poor widow who has to find ways of fending for her brood upon death of her man?

I think deep inside, this woman was celebrating and to her the passing of your brother was such a relief. So to mask it all, she pretended to be the most hurt person. I also think, the main reason she was wailing and weeping to unimaginable levels is because the man she accuses for everything gone wrong in her life is gone. To put it succinctly, the man who could take her nonsense is gone!

That said your sister-in-law is a drama queen and an attention seeking diva.

Msudzuleni, mumasuke.n

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