Widowhood is the process of continuing to live after loosing one's spouse. The process does pose its own special and unique challenges to the surviving spouse. Guided by a true story of a rural-based Swazi widow this study explored the „lived experiences" of Swazi widows in one community in the Manzini region in the Kingdom of Swaziland. The study sought to propose a model for empowering widows with knowledge to assist them how to deal especially with challenges they faced in the hands of their in-laws. To explore their personal realities during the mourning period a qualitative approach was selected. A purposive sample was utilized to conduct interviews with participants. Face-to-face individual interviews that were guided by a semi-structured interview guide were used. Data were also obtained from two key informants, a High Court Judge and a traditional authority. Data were analyzed thematically and themes were generated. The themes reflected challenging times experienced by Swazi widows as they interacted with their in-laws who took advantage of the demise of their sons and deliberately interpreted the Swazi traditional customs to their advantage. Thus the widows became disinherited their rightful share of the estate. These findings have implications for educating Swazi widows in assisting them to know and stand up for their rights and also equipping Ministers of the Gospel with pastoral care skills. Legal experts need to be involved in educating both Swazi widows and Ministers of the Gospel.
Dissertation (MA (Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2017.