Why is polygamy still a thing in Africa?

Beware : This is not an opinion piece , folks. Don’t try to find my opinion here, because I don’t have one.
So let’s go now…
Nowadays, from a Western perspective, everyone seems to be fine with same sex-marriage and transexual rights but polygamy is still considered a degrading savagery imposed on women. It is like a line that even the most reckless freedom fighters are not allowed to cross. So how come this is still a thing in good ‘ole Africa? Or is that continent doomed to fail and never evolve?

Well, three things actually make it hard for polygamy to actually disappear in Africa:

1. Conservative views :

I remember an African woman when I was living in Ottawa who claimed she told a Canadian that she preferred her “African polygamy” to his “western homosexuality”. Sounds pretty homophobic right? But then, If you actually prefer your “western homosexuality” to her “African polygamy”, doesn’t it make you a polygamophobic? So really, who isn’t conservative here? The woman who thinks her customs are OK but not yours. Or you who thinks yours are OK but not hers? Food for thought, right?

2. Religion? Maybe?
“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].”
Quran, Surah An-Nisa (The Women)

This surah is probably the number one reason why polygamy is still a big thing in Islamic African cultures. And who are you to contradict God? But it is actually one of the most-debated surahs by modern muslims. And also the main reason why many muslims actually reject polygamy by saying that since there is no way a man can be just between his women, the safest way to not commit a great sin would be to only marry one woman.

3. Sexual needs? Anyone?
According to many African men, when their women age, they are constantly tired, have sagging breasts, forget their fashion sense, smell like onion and garlic, become less interested in sex, and so on and so on. Basically they are asking to be cheated on. But since cheating is an highly reprimandable act, this totally justifies polygamy! But there are actually two weaknesses in this argument. First, being a polygamist does NOT mean a man won’t cheat on all of his wives. It actually happens pretty often. And yes, cheating on one’s wives includes having sexual intercourse with another woman he wants to marry. This is rightfully called fornication and is considered the second worst sin of Islam after murder! And secondly, the new wives will also become constantly tired, have sagging breasts, forget their fashion sense, smell like onion and garlic, become less interested in sex, and so on and so on. So what’s the point, really?

Now tell us what you think and if you see another justification of polygamy.

By | 2017-01-08T10:41:24+00:00 November 22nd, 2016|Africanity, Recommended, Tradition|4 Comments

About the Author:

Kebina is a Sista Tweet blogger, co-creator, finance coordinator, Social Media Manager and Marketing Manager.
She’s a fashion lover, a fan of African traditions and personal finance advocate. When she’s not on Sista Tweet or busy at her day job, she takes on a passion for traditional Maninka music.

4 Comments

  1. Yvonne December 20, 2016 at 22:54

    Greetings
    This is what we are told in the states that women outnumber men, don’t know how true but most tend to believe it. I just feel it unrealistic and most men are attracted to other women, that’s just how it is. We Can save ourselves lots of problems by accepting this fact. As long as he respects all his wives equally why not. My opinion

  2. joan November 25, 2016 at 16:31

    the westerners have evolved from many beliefs of the past,
    polygamy they way it is practice is not in line with human rights, a woman should not be treated as property
    polyamory, however, everyone gave consent,nobody is forced or sold to be married.
    the western society chooses to evolve and give human rights to LGBT communities and others
    Africans haven’t evolved much,ancient books like the bible and the Quran still dictate how a society should be
    so many African women still live like slaves,forced to marry young and cannot choose their partners.
    All these laws that allow polygamy will be abolished one day,there is hope I guess .

  3. Yvonne November 22, 2016 at 10:17

    Greetings I personally do not have a problem with polygamy, because it has it’s rightful place. In the western world with it’s claims of there being more women then men I think polygamy could be helpful. Also economically it would help as we pool our money together to create wealth. I also feel it is natural for men to want more than one woman. This western culture has broken up families due to women having in my opinion an unrealistic outlook so far as a man must only have eyes for them only. Can’t happen and has not happened. Just my opinion.

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