Polygamy has always been acceptable in the Zulu culture. As I understand it, this is a practice that stems from ages ago when a man needed to have many wives and children to look after him, his home, his cattle and his fields. It was practical and good. However, I cannot avoid wondering whether it is still practical and good in the twenty first century... especially when it is practiced by the President of a country where poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS is of the highest in the world and where the taxpayer have to foot his bills.
The happy bride and groom at their wedding
Monday, 04 January 2010 was a very important day for our President, Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma. This was his wedding day… his fifth wedding day! Not unusual you might say, after all, Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times... yes, but only to one husband at a time. Our Mr Zuma is currently married to three wives, divorced from one, the widower of one, is engaged to two more women and has two girlfriends who are known to the media. He is the father of at least It is certain that he is the father of 15 children, however it is strongly suspected that the total could be as high as 20 and who knows what might surface in future.
Mr Zuma married his first wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 1972. They had four children together, namely Gugulethu (1984), Msholozi (1985), Thuli (1988) and Thuthukile (1990). They were divorced in 1998.
In 1973 he married Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo and no children were born from this marriage. Five children were born from his marriage to Kate Mantho in 1976: Saady (1980), twins Duduzile and Duduzane (1982), Phumzile (1988) and Vusi in 1993. Kate committed suicide in 2000.
After the birth of their two children, Thandisiwe in 2002, and Sinqobile in 2006, Mr Zuma married Nompumelelo Ntuli in 2008. In 2007, Thobeka Madiba gave birth to their baby in 2007 and he married her on 4 January 2010.
However, the story does not end here. He is also engaged to Gloria Bongi Ngema, and their child, Sinqumo was born in 2006. It has also been reported previously that he paid 10 cattle as lobola for Swazi Princess Sebentile Dlamini in 2002.
Then we get to the girlfriends. There are two that he publicly recognise, Minah Shongwe, mother of his son Edward and the mother of his youngest child, Sonono Khoza... and I sincerely hope that none of the rumours about Jabulile, Bridget and another set of twins (allegedly also fathered by him) are true.
In this country, the women, children and romantic escapades of our President has become a source of embarrassment and satire, not only amongst the opposition but also amongst his supporters. It has recently been revealed in Parliament that the State spends more than R15,000.000 per year in support of his wives and their activities. In a country where people are dying due to poverty, R15 million is a lot of money.
When you look at the President's lifestyle, one cannot help but doubt his sense of responsibility towards his country and her people. I will probably be blamed for looking at his situation from a white, western and racist point of view, but so be it. If something does not make sense, it just does not make sense, and this situation certainly makes no sense.