How to live happily with two wives

by Paul Nyongesa

Polygamy has been a subject of fascination, controversy, and debate for centuries. While it is practiced in various cultures around the world, it remains a contentious topic in many societies.

One man who has openly embraced polygamy is Jacob Ombati, also known as Ombati Undhwe, a Kenyan County worker from Migori County. His outspoken views on relationships and marriage have drawn both criticism and intrigue, making him a sensation among Luo social media users in Kenya and Tanzania.

Ombati’s perspective challenges the traditional monogamous norms prevalent in modern societies.

According to him, women dating married men should insist on their wives being informed about the relationships and even participate in meetings at the men’s homesteads rather than in secret lodgings. He believes that honesty and transparency can prevent unnecessary conflicts and heartbreaks.

As a polygamist himself, Ombati recounts his journey towards embracing this lifestyle.

He believes that many Kenyan men engage in multiple affairs, commonly referred to as “mpango wa kandos,” which often leads to broken homes and shattered lives. To avoid such outcomes, Ombati urges men to consider polygamy instead of engaging in clandestine affairs.

In his view, polygamy is not about merely adding women to one’s life but rather taking responsibility for them emotionally and financially.

Ombati emphasizes the importance of providing for one’s wives and children, and he contends that a man should only consider polygamy when he is confident in his ability to support multiple families.

Ombati’s approach to polygamy is unconventional, as he insists on unity among his wives and their children. Unlike the stereotypical portrayal of jealousy and rivalry among co-wives, Ombati believes that having the women live together under the same roof fosters a sense of camaraderie and support.

The polygamous arrangement Ombati describes has deep cultural roots in many African communities. Historically, polygamy was practiced as a means to build strong family ties, enhance social status, and ensure continuity of lineage. While many societies have shifted towards monogamy due to various factors such as religious influences and Westernization, some communities continue to hold polygamy in high regard.

Critics argue that polygamy perpetuates gender inequality, as it often results in unequal treatment among spouses and reinforces traditional patriarchal structures. They claim that polygamy can lead to exploitation of women and a lack of emotional intimacy within marriages. Moreover, concerns about the emotional well-being of children raised in polygamous households are also raised, suggesting that such an arrangement may not be ideal for the children’s development.

Ombati’s unique perspective challenges individuals to question their own beliefs about relationships and marriage. While his views may not resonate with everyone, they offer an opportunity to delve into the complexities of human relationships and cultural practices.

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