Café Avra Productions’ First Intern talks about the Commonplace of Polygamy in Kenya

Hi my name is Faustina Ning’a. I am 22 years old.

I am an Intern at Café Avra Productions. (Yeah I work for Amy!)

Both of my parents are Mozambican, but I was born and lived all my life in Kenya.

My parents came to Kenya as refugees in 1975 while fleeing the Civil War in Mozambique.

I’m currently a fourth year student at Daystar University studying Public Relations and Marketing.

Fortunately, I am almost through with my studies and waiting to graduate next year in June 2011.

Daystar is a Christian University here in Kenya that believes in upholding and impacting Christian values to students. For example, I’m currently taking a course called RET 321 (Christian and African traditional religion). This course focuses on comparing the African society and its practices to Christian Theology.

So far I am working on a group project that deals with understanding polygamy and its comparisons (or contrasts) to the teachings in the Bible.

I found out that polygamy in Kenya, or probably the whole of Africa, is not rare like in the western world.

Here almost 35% of married men are polygamous and proud.

Some practice it because it is in their culture, others out of pride, and others simply because they can afford keeping many wives.

Just recently, stories of single Kenyan women going to a Nigerian priest visiting Nairobi hit the headlines. They were on a mission to ask God to give them spouses.

And then, almost a week later, more stories hit the headlines that one of the well-known polygamous men in Kenya, Akuku Danger (story featured below) has just passed on leaving behind almost 300 children fatherless and 100 women widowed!

When Amy asked me what young Kenyans think about polygamy at this moment in time, most have no problem with what polygamy meant  in the past, as most  of us have polygamous relatives. And, looking at polygamy from a religious perspective, father Abraham  had Sarah and Hagar, Solomon was the King of polygamy and many others in the bible had followed suit.

However, when speaking about my personal life, and most of my classmates at Daystar University, none of them intend to be in a polygamous relationship.

***

Below I thought I would share an interesting story of a man called Akuku Danger, who recently passed on. He almost beat out King Solomon at a polygamous race!

This is one story that many will live to tell.

The Mighty King Solomon was just about to be out-done by Kenya’s Akuku Danger

The late Asentus Akuku ‘Danger’ poses with his youngest wife Christine Ajwang’ at his home in Ndhiwa in 2008

 

Akuku Danger was on a mission to have more; to use his charms to attract the beautiful Jaluo ladies..that was the first statement I heard about this man…

Asentus Ogwella Akuku or Akuku Danger is a man that has beat the African record  and was just about to hit the mark of King Solomon.. If not for his untimely death on Sunday (October 3, 2010). He died at 92.

His peers named him ‘Danger’ because of his magic with women and love for polygamy. Having many wives begun as a joke to him. By the time he was 22, Akuku was already a polygamist with 5 wives.

At 35, he married his 45th wife!

Arguably one of Kenya’s best known polygamists, Akuku is said to have married 130 times, divorced more than 80 of his wives and sired more than 200 children.

So large is Akuku’s family that when his wives and children would finally be asked to stand up during his burial, more than half of the mourners would probably rise on their feet.

Those who knew him agree that if ever there would be an award for a successful polygamist, he would get the gold; right after King Solomon had received his award…

 

Akuku with some of his family members

 

The grand master of polygamy married his first wife in 1939 and his last in 1997 when he was 79.

Akuku’s family now includes more than 200 grand children that live in Kanyamwa and Aora Chuodho areas in Ndhiwa district and Karungu in the neighbouring Nyatike district. (Northwest of Nairobi)

His sons and grand children are well-educated and work in the civil service and the private sector.

Akuku was later quoted as saying: “I lived a lavish lifestyle. I was always ready to spend money on women.”

He said that to keep a woman one had to respond to her immediate needs.

He also got rid of the stubborn wives; “I divorce women who misbehave,” he once said.

Just wondering why I came late; I would have been the 131st wife! 🙂

***

(Faustina will be interning with Café Avra Productions until mid-November and will continue to update us with her stories!)

 

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5 comments

  1. Thats a story well put,the Kenyan version of king solomon.looking foward to more interesting stories.keep up the good work!!

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