What's really wrong with having more than one wife, more than one mistress or more than one girlfriend? What's really wrong with alternating between different tastes and keeping the body and soul in absolute ecstasy? What's really unpalatable when a man does this, without detriment to a neighbour or the society?
They say it’s an unwholesome lifestyle capable of manufacturing and distributing venereal diseases or, breeding unwanted kids who will eventually cloud our society and jeopardize our finances and immediate security.
But African ancestors had dozens of wives and scores of children, yet they lived longer than the modern-day, penicillin-made African. They had little or no insecurity problems. They didn’t battle with HIV/Aids or syphilis. Their teenage daughters didn’t die in the hands of desperate abortionists. Yet, they remain the bad examples African youths are admonished not to emulate!Could you ask yourself why these African ancestors lived a safer life? Allow me to offer some answers. They didn’t suffer the side effects of civilization. There were no cinemas to teach their kids when, where and how to kiss and neck. There were no beaches to catch the glimpse of women’s sultry shapes in tantalizing bikinis. There were no motels to bustle a neighbour’s wife or girlfriend to, and have a quick one.
Our ancestors lived in a world where sincerity and honesty had no room in which to hide. They committed their sins openly and faced the consequences. They brought home the little girl whom they irresistibly pressed to pregnancy, instead of abandoning her in frustration to contemplate an abortion or dumping the baby in a pit or simply having it as a lovechild.
Instead of fixing a mistress in a cottage far from home for fear of letting the liaison known to the incumbent wife, the African ancestor would bring her home to join his team of wives and they lived altogether in the same compound, where none of these women could attempt having a secret lover like our mistresses do today.
Our African ancestors were bad, lascivious, polygamous, etc – I agree; however, we today are nonetheless saintlier. We perpetrate the same magnitude of atrocity, only in a scientific and hypocritical fashion.
Our today’s elder statesmen, rulers and role models do the same thing. They’re married to more than one wife and their children could form a football squad with a solid reserve bench.
Those who strive to humble their image stick to one wife publicly, but stealthily manage a bevy of mistresses. Those with lovechildren are uncountable; yet the African society tells you: “It doesn’t matter. It’s their private life. Everybody should mind their business.”
But why does it matter in the West, when a politician or some public figure cheats his wife or have a child out of wedlock? Do you want to tell me their society is more rigorous with family responsibility? They are the same people we blame for spoiling our kids with television and video games. They are the same people who exhort us to be faithful to our wives – even as tough as it is for us!
Now let’s face it. Is polygamy – having more than one wife – really necessary in our society? Does it do us more good than harm or the reverse, as we endeavour to develop of our society? I’m afraid to say what I think because an uncle who will be reading this article may knock my head; sh-h-h-h, he’s got five wives and 16 children and he’s a public figure. Don’t ask me where he works, because I don’t want to testify before a panel of investigation who may probe him after reading this article.
Goodness, but how many public figures in Africa have ever been sacked, suspended or even probed, for aligning wives and mistresses? We don’t care about how or where they mine the means to cater for the large community their libido has founded. Even if they scratch public funds to buy St. Valentine’s gift for a new catch it doesn’t matter, it’s their private life!
While preparing this article, I interviewed so many Africans from different countries to have their views on “Polygamy and the African society”. Read their opinions:
Polygamy is horrible
A man from Rwanda tells me: “Polygamy is horrible. Manning several women at the same time turns you a liar, a wasteful spender and a distracted thinker. Africans should abandon this attitude.”
Another from Nigeria says: “The problem is the African society. We don’t seem to frown at polygamy enough. Let us adopt the attitude of regarding polygamist as awful people. I think they may change some day. My father has seven wives and 22 children. It’s terrible! Each day of the week is allocated to sleeping with one wife. And so, the seven women cover the seven days of the week. Imagine a man having sex everyday of the week, year in year out. How can such a person be productive to himself and the immediate society?”
Yet another from Swaziland believes “Polygamy is one of the problems of development in African and nobody seems to see it. Presidents, ministers, senators, company directors, etc, squander enormous public funds per year to maintain old and new women. And Africans don’t see anything wrong about it. But in the West, taxpayers will let you know their hard-earned money can’t be invested in sexual fun.”
A lady from Congo Brazzaville says, “The problem is poverty too. African women are so poor and unproductive, so when a rich politician comes around proposing something, they can’t resist for long because it’s another route towards saying bye to hardship.”
And then a controversial interviewee tells me, “Look, you can’t blame us. You can’t compare Black men to White men. Black men have a stronger sexual drive than white men and can hardly quell it with just one wife. We need several women to stay cool under or else, the rate of raping will escalate.” Both of us laughed over the phone when he concluded, but I didn’t immediately agree with him.
And you, what’s your opinion about polygamy in Africa? Should we impeach our leaders who have more than one wife? Does it really affect our society and development?
PEOPLE is a new satirical column written by Kingsley Kobo every Thursday. Next week I’ll be sharing something about the Power of Money, see you!