Love and polygamy

2017-07-10 11:38
The Mseleku family.

The Mseleku family. (Supplied)

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“I love all of them equally.”

Those are the sentiments of now well-known polygamist and KwaZulu-Natal businessman Musa Mseleku.

The 43-year-old stars in the new hit reality show Uthando nes’thembu on Mzansi Magic, which has set tongues wagging on its core concept — polygamy.

The show explores Mseleku’s relations with his four wives and their 10 children. It chronicles how Mseleku and the wives — Busisiwe Cele, Nokukhanya Yeni, Mbali Ngwabe and Thobile Khumalo — navigate the dynamics of their colourful family.

Speaking to Weekend Witness, Mseleku said he knew from a young age he wanted to have “wives”.

“I realised that if I wanted to have 20 children, I needed to have a bigger family.”

He said introducing the idea of a polygamous traditional practice to his first wife, MaCele, was challenging.

“I joked about it before we got married. She didn’t take me seriously at the time because I was still young.”

After they got married he presented the matter again to her formally.

“She didn’t accept it at first. She questioned why I wanted to be a polygamist. I had to explain that it was not about her shortcomings. It was just a lifestyle I had chosen,” he said.

While they make the arrangement seem easy, Mseleku said there are challenges.

“Time plays a major role in determining how much love you have for your wives. It’s bigger than money. Money also plays a key factor; as a man you need to be able to provide for your wives.”

He said honesty and transparency is what’s keeping their family together.

“Honesty is key. If you are not honest it will not work. I try by all means to be transparent even in the way I provide for them. I visit my houses and attend to all my children equally. That is the key reason everyone has embraced this idea of a big family.”

He said he always ensures that all the wives are equal. He added that he knew every wife’s cellphone number off by heart. “I have to know everyone’s cellphone number off by heart. If I don’t, I’ll be in trouble,” he said jokingly.

The youngest wife, MaKhumalo (28), said she married Mseleku at 19.

“I never envisioned being in a polygamous marriage. I didn’t hate it but I heard horror stories growing up.”

MaKhumalo said what made her give in was that Mseleku seemed different.

“He was very persistent and had time for me. He didn’t sell me dreams and was honest from the onset. He was also a good and responsible man despite being married to other women.”

She said although there have been challenges in the past, the wives get along well.

“It was not easy understanding each other at first. We all came from different backgrounds. Gelling all these personalities was a challenge but we are like sisters now. You need a certain level of maturity to be in a polygamous marriage.”

Contrary to popular belief, MaKhumalo said there was no jealousy among the wives.

“We all get along very well. I love them, they are like my sisters,” she said.

They both said they decided to do the show to change the public’s misconception about polygamy.

Asked if he had intentions of taking a fifth wife, Mseleku said that decision was for the whole family.

“I have lost that power. The whole family would have to make a decision around that.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  polygamy

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