This weekend has been buzzing with the wedding of the favourite nollywood star and bachelorette Funke Akindele, famously know as ‘Jenifar’. The wedding came as a surprise and a shock to everyone seeing that the husband to be was ‘unknown’ until a couple of months ago. Not only is it a surprise but shockingly is the fact that she has chosen to relinquish her Christian faith and become a ‘Second wife’ to Alhaji Kehinde Oloyede Almaroof a father of four or six depending on what news you read called Kenny, nobody knows why she decided to get married so soon, perhaps she is pregnant, or indeed maybe it is love, as you know they say ‘love is blind’ which is a shame, I will prefer if love is wide eyed, so you can see the future and realise that whoever is wife no 2 today, could be number 5 tomorrow.
After all a Muslim is allowed to legally marry four wives. I am a big fan of Funke Akindele and certainly wish her all the best in this new journey she has taken, may the Lord give her the strength, wisdom and patience to stay focused and strong.
As a Christian, however, our prayers when it comes to holy wedlock is to marry ‘the flesh of my flesh and the bone of my bone’ simply meaning becoming one flesh solidifying into one body. As a Christian we believe this is God’s heart desire for every man and woman to intertwine, so two bodies become one and proceed to replenish the earth!.
However, according to culture and society this institution varies from one country to another, some countries practise polygamy,marriage in which a spouse may have more than one mate at the same time, some monogamy, some polyandry(a woman marrying two or three brothers together, common in Tibet!)
Over here in the western world and with Christianity, In cultures that practice marital monogamy, bigamy is the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another. Bigamy is a crime.
In most African, Asian and Islamic Countries polygamy is a way of life that is acceptable to all, and most likely 50% of the population comes from a polygamy home. The most famous polygamist we have is the king of Swaziland who up to date has 13 wives(his father had 70!) and the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma who has 6 wives.
In Africa marrying many wives was necessary during the pre colonial times due to farming and the need to have many hands on board to gather a bigger harvest. However as time changed and the western culture and Christianity infiltrated Africa, polygamy became something that was frowned on, just as the Mormon’s had had to ditch their polygamy practise.
Fast forward to 2012 and you will see that rather seeing the polygamy marriage dwindle in Nigeria, it has actually picked up pace, this time due to financial dependency, women will rather be a 2nd, 3rd or 4th wife with a rich man who would shower her with ALL ‘good things of life’ like build her a mansion, buy her luxurious cars, look after her family, take care of her education etc, something that a young male graduate would find impossible to do. Nobody wants to endure long hardship mainly caused by financial hardship and those who are in a monogamy relationship, you find now have extra marital affairs with rich men, to fill the financial potholes at home.
Is polygamy then a better option to go for when it comes to marriage, certainly NOT will be my advise, the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. Money cannot bring you, joy, peace and harmony, as well as feeding your physical body with good food, nice clothes and an elegant house, remember a ‘house is not a home’, Your Spiritual care, Mental care is Paramount, any slackness or deficiency in these two areas, could lead to disaster.
It is not the beginning that matters, it is the latter end, where do you see yourself twenty years down the line, if you are no 2 wife today, most likely you will have another 3 or 4 coming after you. Most polygamy homes normally have scarred children, emotionally wrecked or inadequate to sustain a healthy one on one relationship.
My take will be think twice, better still thrice before heading down that lane, remember you were not created to be second best!