by Hillary Lisimba –
Polygamy is an age-old tradition practised in many African ethnic societies – A poll by TUKO.co.ke shows that Kenyans are divided on whether it is better than monogamy – Proponents opine that it allows for companionship while opponents argue it is ground for hatred and jealousy
It started with a post by Citizen TV reporter Stephen Letoo written to wish his two moms a happy mother’s day. Musa Mseleku poses with three of his four wives. Photo credits: Rogan Ward. Source: Getty Images
Letoo took a trip down memory lane to the days he was raised and treated equally by his two mothers. According to him, a polygamous family setup provides a better arrangement for development and family growth. “When we lost our dad in 2008, I had the privilege being his firstborn son to fit in his shoes, this gave me the rare opportunity to head a polygamous family. You can never get a better arrangement than that. It’s the true meaning of the phrase two heads are better than one,” he wrote.
Based on his sentiments, TUKO.co.ke ran a poll to pick opinion from the public on whether it is true that polygamy is better than monogamy.
The first group was adamant that in this era of sexually transmitted diseases and a struggling economy, marrying several wives is putting oneself, and by extension the entire family, at great risk.
Yvonne Kim: “Polygamy existed in a society where all men were proud to be called fathers and taking responsibility for their families was undebatable. Men of nowadays sire children and can barely take care of one family leave alone two.”
Rose Adama “Polygamy was good in the olden days. Nowadays it is one of the contributing factors to STDs, HIV, hatred, witchcraft amongst many others.”
According to them, the majority of the characters in the Bible from David, to Solomon, to Jacob not had several wives but also kept concubines. Kanyari Gachugi “I agree. Polygamy is Biblical. Condemning polygamy is a Western mentality.”
Haroun Kandie Yator “Look what has happened to the western world and the USA. They are experiencing labour shortage because they prohibit marrying more women and encourage small families.”
Evidently, it is a debate that cannot seem to have a conclusive end as each side of the divide has its legitimate reasons for supporting either polygamy or monogamy.