My name is Rukaya Ozukwor. I am eighteen years old and I have experienced the horror of widowhood.
Here is my story.
  In my culture, it is not uncommon for young girls to marry early. My parents were struggling with their finances. We were a very poor family. I couldn't even finish school because my parents could not pay for my school fees. We barely had enough food to feed me and my three other siblings.

 My dad's very good friend wanted his last son, who was twenty years old, to get married. I was the only female child, so my parents made the decision for me to get married. We got married when I turned twelve. We were a happy family. Since my husband could afford to finish school, he had a small job as a mechanic in a local market, and I worked for myself as a street vendor selling food to local schools. 
   In late January, early February, I started showing signs of pregnancy. Eight months later, I gave birth to a beautiful girl named Ayana. Two years later, my daughter was celebrating her second birthday. My husband came home from work. That night, three men came into our small house with guns. They demanded for money and jewelry. My husband refused to give them any money.The minute I turned away to check on my daughter, I heard a shot fired.I went to look and found out that my husband had been shot. The armed robbers ran away without getting what they came for. I called for help but by the time we rushed him to the hospital, he was already dead. Though my husband was dead and it caused great grief for me and my daughter, I knew this was the beginning of my trouble.

When my in-laws found out that he died, they I assumed that I killed him. I was the prime suspect. They scraped my hair off with a blade and tied my hands. I couldn't even feed my baby. Only those who sympathized with her could feed her. Eventually, I was kicked out of my home. My in-laws took all of my possesions and the little money I had. According to the village's custom, whoever buries the man, get his property. I was left with nothing because
 I did not bear him a male child and the money I had was not enough for the burial. I managed to escape the village and go back to my parents home. Since then, I have not seen any of my in-laws. Till now, I still don't know where he is buried.