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Opinion / Columnist

Giving serious thought to the possibility of Polyandry

11 May 2021 at 22:45hrs | Views
With our neighbouring country South Africa, working on the green paper on the marriages Act, it is no doubt that ordinary Zimbabweans are also pondering on the matter, be it they reach to such a position, although it seems so far away.

Nauseating and insulting as it is to even consider this concept given our cultural confines. It is evident that the African culture is gradually inclining to the idea.

Yes, Culture is dynamic, changing over time. The rhetoric is, Is African culture ready for such? It is not a matter of male dominance, chauvinism or even feminism but that of sanity in the household that takes this route.

One good example: If one has been married for years and has agreed with their wife to be a stay-at-home mom and not work. Then the new husband comes into the picture and wants her to work and oppose all the foundations and ideologies that He and the wife would have built upon. Wouldn't that cause tension? The wife faced with whose Head of the House's instruction to follow therefore duelling them, resulting in an unhappy marriage that might lead to depression, murders etc.

In addition, paternity of the off-springs therefore become questionable, as to who really fathered the child/ren. Which affects the cultural virtue of one knowing their roots, as  Africans believe that everyone born into the family must be introduced to their ancestors. Furthermore, after lobola, the bride to be is introduced to the family/ancestors, in Ndebele by a process called UKUCOLA. So, in a polyandry setup does it mean that the woman will be introduced to over 2 'sets' of ancestors? Will she still be sane? Are we not mocking our ancestors?

Power dynamics between the 2 husbands or more will always defeat the purpose of a marriage institution and peace in the home as they struggle for dominance over the household.

Moreover, if she cheats and one party or more decides to file for divorce, how are the assets and wealth shared amongst parties? Do we share the ones we acquired together as a 'group' or just the ones we both acquired? Will all the husband liable to Lobola?

Compiled by Thabiso Nxumalo

Source - Thabiso Nxumalo
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