It's a show that gets people hot under the collar. Watching men approaching their wives to tell them they are bringing in a third person into the relationship? That's enough to get anyone worked up.
SA's polygamy show, Mnakwethu, is making it's way back to TV as men try to open up the discussion about taking more than one wife.
Being in a polygamous marriage is far more than fulfilling a fantasy of having more than one wife. It comes with a lot of responsibility and it is not as easy as some men may think it is, polygamist and host of Mnakwethu Musa Mseleku tells Drum.
On the Mzansi Magic show, which returns for the second season on 6 July, husbands will introduce the other woman to their wives with the intention of starting a life of polygamy.
The confessions bring conflict as it means the husband has been cheating and he has now decided to make things official.
But soon the wives find themselves bending over backwards to allow their husbands to fulfil their wishes, as seen in the previous season.
Musa has four wives and ten children and he could not be happier. The Uthando Nes’thembu reality tv star has previously expressed his interest in a fifth wife and more children.
He hopes the show will demystify some of the misconceptions people, especially men, may have about the polygamy.
“[What] I hear a lot is that if you have one wife, she might be disrespectful to you, then the assumption is that if you have more than one wife, they might be more respectful.
“And that you enjoy more sex or having more of a sex drive, this is not the case. The responsibility you carry is much more than that.
“The other one is that men with more money are the ones who aspire for polygamy,” Musa says.
The practice still raises eyebrows as some perceive it as outlandish, oppressive, and sexist.
“We are happy to once again share stories that are underpinned by African cultures and customs. The show will leave our viewers engaged in a societal debate that will leave them holding diverse points of view highlighted by this reality series,” says Nomsa Philiso, the Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net.
Musa believes polygamy is about marriage, not about divorce. It is about growing the family name.
“It is a more transparent manner of preventing children who are born out of wedlock, fatherless children, and it brings unity,” he says.
Polygamy is an old African practice. There have been questions about whether it is still relevant at this time especially following a proposal by the South African government to legalise polyandry (allowing a woman to have more than one husband at the same time).
In the meantime, on Mnakwethu, Musa will interrogate and engage with men who want to take another wife. The talking points will be to ascertain if they have the financial muscle to take care of their family, the emotional and sexual capacity to lead another household.
They will also look at the level of stability between him and his current wife before someone new is introduced into the family dynamic.