Polygamy is the devil. If you thought that the devil’s zipcode was hell, I am here to tell you that he has been residing and bedding our African society, for ages. It is time that we, ‘rikitaad the madimoni’, -cast the polygamy demon-out of our household. No, I am not a full blooded feminist, but I do subscribe to the ideology of gender equity and equality. Matters pertaining to the continual disenfranchisement of the African woman, in this day and age, where supposedly women are running the world a la Beyonce, are close to my heart. Ponder on what I just said, by asking yourself the Afropolitan Experience, 5 in 5 staple question, “What does it mean to be African in the 21st century?” Now, dig deeper and ask yourself, What does it mean to be an African woman in the 21st century? Truth be told, in as much as it seems to be that we have made giant steps, towards integrating women into our highly paternalistic society, there are still vices, such as polygamy that do not help with this progressive cause, the continent seems to be on right now.
The issue of polygamy is one that has been debated passionately, many times over here. It is a contentious issue, to say the least. As far as I am concerned, polygamy is of no benefit to the African woman. If anything, she is tangled in a fictitious web, especially if she is wife #2, 3 or 80, of one day being the only grain in his jallof serving. Somebody will refute my consternation by listing polygamy as a great avenue of forging sisterhood and a support system with the other wives. Eh, stop right there! Although these women, may collaborate with each other when need be, for the most part, they are in constant competition with each other, to win the attention of their shared prize-a mere mortal man. Woi! By the way, I propose a co-wives reality show in Africa, I would love to be a participant.
Furthermore, a polygamous situation relegates a woman into a subordinate level in which the man asserts his authority and holy dominion. This does not require any factual backing, as it pertains to Africa. Take the traditions of the Maasai culture. They are a polygamous tribe who believe that: a man’s wealth rests upon the number of cattle and children he has. Young girls are married off, to gizzards old enough to be their fathers, in prospects of them becoming, welcome semen receptacles and child popping extraordinaire. These young girls are denied the rights to an education and being celebrated as equals.
The disease that brings discomfort in discussions, HIV/AIDS is very much rife in our culture. The statistics are telling. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I’ve never heard of condom use in marriage in Africa. This rarity occurs in discordant couples. So let’s say a man is married to three women, and he is in the market prospecting to add more. What are the probable chances, that he will require an HIV/AIDS test result, before marrying the girl?! What if she is infected?! That means a whole bloodline is going to be seriously affected and infected.
Our society has been accepting of this engagement for so long without examining the intricate dangers that result from it. Those like me who see this as a backdated and regressive practice are often dismissed as being feminists who have been heavily influenced by the Western world. As if to mean, that it is only the west that thinks progressively! Ha. It is high time we kumbayaad together as an African people, and abolish this practice with the quickness that is Naomi Campbell’s balding edges. If not for our sake, let it be for our future generations.
This is purely opine oo…..don’t start asking for PHD dissertations to back up my opinion! What say you my friend?