If they are not resolved speedily, disputes over land can sometimes escalate into violence. That’s what happened in the case of Patience. To understand her story, though, we have the set out the circumstances of Patience’s early life.
When she was 14, Patience met a man and moved in with him, but they separated two years later, after having one son.
Patience eventually met a new partner and moved with him into one of the main camps in the area for Internally Displaced Persons (or IDP camps as they’re commonly known). While living there, Patience and her partner had four children. She and her partner separated in 2009, however.
So at this point Patience, in accordance with tradition, came back to live at her deceased father’s home. However, by this time her birth mother had separated from her father.
Her father’s second wife, though, still lived there with her children (half-brothers to Patience). And it’s then that conflicts over land began to occur. Not only did Patience’s step-family fear that her sons would one day try and lay claim to any land she was allowed to cultivate; they also claimed that since her birth mother had left her father, she no longer had any right to the father’s land.
Patience was 32 years old at the time she spoke to us about these land problems.
Here’s how she describes what happened when matters came to a head: AUDIO CLIP
As a result of taking part in the project, Patience says she hopes to get help in approaching the relevant clan authorities. She feels they will be able to mediate between her and her estranged family members and reach a decision that will be fair to all parties.