Men need more wives to avoid kukaliwa says Kikuyu elder

Polygamous family. [Photo: Courtesy]

Polygamy is a delicate subject in Kenya and especially amongst Kikuyu community but an elder says house of Mumbi has to pay attention to it to tame secret affairs.

Gregory Njiru, member of Kikuyu Council of Elders says men for ages were allowed to have more than one wife and this enabled them to rule and were not be sat on. But now polygamy is being treated as forbidden affair, the society he says should brace for mipango ya kandos.

“From time of our ancestors men needed two or more wives for comfort and to avoid being silenced and anguished by the only wife. The thing today you call kukaliwa chapati. Those days if husband found one wife moody and hostile he would relocate to the other for comfort and attention” says Njiru.

Kikuyu women in search of water. The community’s forefathers were polygamous. [Photo: File]
But what about the community’s warning; “Aka eri ni nyungu igiri cia urogi (Two wives are two pots of poison)”?

“Men need two or more wives for comfort and avoid kukaliwa chapati”

Njiru argues that; “Such was based on isolated cases. With many wives there is jealousy that calm the situation and as a result the husband is respected. It worked for our fathers and ancestors but because today it is not working in the open, men will obviously keep secret women”.

Lately only Kiambu Women Rep Gathoni Wamuchomba has touched on the matter. She urged Kikuyus should see polygamy as a way of culture, saying criminalising polygamy has led many women turned single mothers.

This is a hot issue church hates to dwell on but Njiru argues that nature of a number of able men is to have more than one partner. “Many people will not like this argument but truth is we either allow men to officially marry another wife or else many will keep mipangos. And this is already happening a lot” He says.

One of the few Kikuyus who have declared they are polygamous is businessman Charles Macharia who has three wives and 12 children. Macharia is in process of paying dowry for them all.

Businessman Charles Macharia with his three wives. [Photo: Courtesy]
Similarly, Murang’a Women Rep Sabina Chege is second wife of former Kenya Dairy Board General Manager Maina Gathitu while Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika is reportedly third wife of businessman Sam Mburu.


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