Accenting the Positive in Polygamy: South African President Marries Fifth Wife in Zulu Ceremony

South African president Jacob Zuma has decided to accent the positive in marrying his fifth wife (he is currently married to three other women). He tied the knot for the fifth time and is now married to three women. Zuma insists that his polygamist lifestyle is more “honest” than leaders who simply cheat with mistresses.

Zuma, 67, married Tobeka Madiba, 37. She already has three children by Zuma. Yet, Zuma insists
“There are plenty of politicians who have mistresses and children that they hide so as to pretend they are monogamous. I prefer to be open. I love my wives and I am proud of my children.”

He has plenty to be proud about. He has 19 children.

For the record, I have written in favor of the right of consenting adults in enter into polygamous relationships, here.

For the full story, click here.

20 thoughts on “Accenting the Positive in Polygamy: South African President Marries Fifth Wife in Zulu Ceremony”

  1. Berliner:

    Hugh Hefner has children with most these women or just one?

    That is not polygamy, it is fornication or as I call it: pigamy.

    Prejudice? Are you prejudice against bank robbers?

    The source of most wars is scare resources.

  2. Mine was a starting point of relatively equal numbers (as if suddenly we began this in America).

    Nothing would change. The men, who a) want polygamous relationships and b) can attract multiple women to such ventures (e.g. Hugh Hefner) already live in polygamous relationships.

    There are few women out there thinking: “If I could become the 3rd wife of Mr. Right I would enter a relationship with him, but girlfriend #3 just isn’t good enough for me.”
    Those who are comfortable with such constellations are comfortable with them marriage or no.

    I’m of the opinion …

    So you’re “aware” of the historical evidence against your argument (“polygamy leads to conflict”), but you choose to ignore it because you want to reinforce your prejudice?

  3. Berliner:

    Yes, I am aware of your point, I thought twice about making it myself just so no one else would. :o)

    Mine was a starting point of relatively equal numbers (as if suddenly we began this in America).

    I’m of the opinion that a civilization gets into the bad situation of “needing” polygamy only because of a pre-existing cultural corruption that leads to disease, invasion, or collapse of the male population, thus requiring polygamy. I.E.: polygamy is a symptom (and one that perpetuates further disease).

    In the case of Islam, it was unquestionably Mohammad’s perverse addition to sex unquenchable by nearly a dozen wives, a tiny little child bride, and numerous sex-slaves.

  4. … Where male and females are represented in about equal numbers polygamy creates large groups of males without wives (as many women are horded by the few) This leads to conflict and heaven knows what else. …

    I think historical data shows that the causation is the other way around: common polygamy (as opposed to polygamy of a few rich and powerful men, which doesn’t change overall demographics and is quite common even in otherwise non-polygamous societies) springs up in situations were men “drop like flies,” i.e. where there is already a imbalance in the sex ratio.
    The most common cause for that imbalance is prolonged pre-industrial, often tribal, warfare.

    Many happily monogamous couples caring lovingly for just a few children is the natural (because most people want that, if they can achieve it) result of a functioning society, not the cause.

    Even individual rights aside: sanctioning promiscuity, divorce, and polygamy to make a better society is like punishing tears to make the pain go away…

  5. A few thoughts about human nature.

    Where male and females are represented in about equal numbers polygamy creates large groups of males without wives (as many women are horded by the few) This leads to conflict and heaven knows what else.

    A woman is a fool to divert the attention and devotion to herself and her children to another woman and her children. I’d say she was stupid too if she choose polygamy but had the option to choose monogamy. She has also lowered her status and power below that of the man by allowing him to bring in other females.

    There is no record of a superior civilization worth living in that practiced polygamy. Most polygamous civilizations are cesspools where women suffer unending hardship. The worst nations on earth today where women are second class individuals are ones with the strongest history of polygamy (Muslim and Arab lands in particular).

    Only in monogamous civilizations is there a sustained opportunity for common women to experienced any superior level of leisure and comfort. Not so in polygamous civilizations where men are removed from contributing to the energy of the group and from helping women.

    I once heard a young colonel speak on C-Span about a year ago. Actually, I forget what he was, but something like that. He told about the difficulties of getting Iraqi men to do physical labor (dig ditches and so forth). What would take an American man to do in a day took Iraqi men a week or more. He said this was because the Middle East men don’t do physical labor, women are forced to do it. This is how it works with polygamy even long after polygamy is no longer practiced. Men learn to be copulating lazy slackers who do little to advance civilization.

    It is to benefit men only to advocate polygamy. And so I see it as a form of wickedness since everyone, especially children, suffers from it (as all that can be done for children isn’t being done). Since a man cannot take care of such a large family, the bulk of the work falls to the women.

    Whereas, in monogamy, the work has to be shared between the couple. And the man knows that too many children cannot be well cared for. So he must consider limiting his sexual power and direct his tension to creative and productive activities outside of sex. With polygamy, there is no limit to his sexual power since the care of the family falls completely on the women. It doesn’t matter how many children he has since his wives will do all the work.

    It’s no skin off his back.

    Such men have no incentive to work, learn, invent, and create. If polygamy becomes widespread like it did in the Middle-East, civilization crumbles or drags to low estate. Mans only incentive is to copulate like a dog or pig and just get by.

    In monogamy, a man is responsible for the care of his little group. It spurs him to action and creativity as he would most likely not want to witness them to suffer at his own hand.

    In polygamous societies men lose their intellectual vitality and the civilization reduces itself to brutish primitive harshness. As widespread as Islam became, there was virtually no intellectual creativity or development. Nearly all advancements once considered “Islamic” we now know were actually the advancements acquired as a result of the conquered people Islam swallowed up.

    The backwardness and despotic condition of Arab and Muslim lands today can be, in my opinion can be as mcuh attributed to the demeaning treatment of women established by polygamy, as the single motherhood status of American women contributes to crime and instability.

    What is done in our “little platoon”, as Edmund Burke referred to our little monogamous family, is critical to what kind of culture and civilization we will become.

    And so when we think we can tamper with the family as we are in America today and not pay the steepest of prices, we are kidding ourselves and we are ignorant of history.

    And I think that history proves a civilization has a right to preserve itself by demanding that: children have parents who take care of them, promiscuity is punishable, divorce should be very difficult to obtain, and polygamy illegal.

  6. The BBC ran an interview where Mr. Zuma refused to answer questions like “how many wives do you have?” When the BBC interviewer pressed him on why he wouldn’t respond, Mr. Zuma ‘explained’ that, “it is a very serious matter.” Huh? To his credit at a professional journalist, the BBC guy did continue to press Mr. Zuma. To Mr. Zuma’s credit as a professional politician, he continued to say strings of words that didn’t even vaguely provide a response to the question asked.

    Zuma does have a point about not skulking around in the bushes like most of his colleagues around the world.

  7. I can see what he means. And frankly, his honesty is more refreshing than what we see all over the news.

    But I have to agree with Mike. In the end, at least from what I can tell, even a consensually “open” relationship will be destructive for those involved.

  8. Buddha,
    Truth be told my previous marriage was an “open marriage” ala the 70’s fashion. The “openness” destroyed it and proved to me that I was a lot less smart, sophisticated and mentally healthy as I thought I was at the time. It comes down to a question of loyalty to someone and despite the obstacles and temptations, loyalty is a true measure of love and caring.

  9. “… Tiger, turn to the Zulu faith …”

    IIRC President Zuma is actually a Pentecostal Christian, so Brit Hume might have been giving correct advice after all…

  10. Mike,

    That’s exactly why I am a one woman at a time kind of guy. It’s one of those things like communism or pure capitalism. Looks great on paper. The reality? Not so much. And I didn’t need Big Love to teach me that. I just needed to see four of my Dad’s girlfriends find out about each other at the same time when I was ten. I tell you, if Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, in multiples it’s truly frightening. The old man was lucky to have walked out of the Thunderdome with his huevos still attached that day. I was just an innocent pre-pubescent bystander and I still “checked my package” after they left.

    A milestone argument in all the arguments I’ve ever seen.

    And the number two reason I’m a monogamous guy. Number one is my dad’s wandering penis broke my mom’s heart in the first place. As a only child, I got to watch her cry a lot. It made an impression.

    Polyamorous relationships are way too much drama for this cat. Too many potential victims when things go sideways.

  11. Buddha,
    Heinlein wrote most of that in the 70’s where all sorts of alternative relationship theories flourished. The problem with all of them are really logistical unless one envisions a commanding patriarchical or matriarchical system. Watch the HBO show “Big Love” for a practical guide on why I’ll take my chances with one wife and realize the grass ain’t greener over there.

  12. maverratick:

    “My message to Tiger would be, “Tiger, turn to the Zulu faith and you can rotate through all these bitches and be a great example to the world.”


    LOL. You are a sage.

  13. rcampbell,

    Sounds like a logical extension to me. Is this what they call bootstrapping? I have a feeling that I’d be getting a boot and it would be strapped but not where I would want it.

  14. Whats the problem?

    Rathmses had over 100 children with all of his wives. Finally his 13 son succeeded him as King. Why can’t he have another wife if his other wives consent?

  15. My message to Tiger would be, “Tiger, turn to the Zulu faith and you can rotate through all these bitches and be a great example to the world.”

  16. Robert Heinlein was big on the idea of marriage as a polyamorous option. Some of his books feature very large extended families. But they have multiple wives and husbands. More like a cooperative contractual obligation where it was understood the various people involved could and would sleep with one another. They all shared in the duties and responsibilities to the family proper and failing the family could mean divorce from the group. A small company “with benefits”. A mini-tribe. A troop. We are after all just space monkeys.

    Personally? Probably not for me. I’m a one gal at a time kinda guy, but it makes a lot of sense for some. Greater shared resources, the ability to have a greater variety in your sex life without stepping outside the obligations of marriage.

    It’s not an insane idea or way of living if done as RH described and in line with what Alan describes (accurately) as fair.

  17. I’ll be in favor of polygamy as soon as men and women are on equal footing, in other words, as soon as married women are just as legally and socially free to seek other partners as married men.

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