Somewhere in the picturesque South African hills of KwaZulu-Natal is Musa Mseleku, a 43-year old man who is happily married to four wives – who are all happy and content according to what they told newspapers – as well as 10 children.
This polygamous family is so happy in fact, that it has captured the attention of M-Net filmmakers who last week started airing a reality television show about the family on Mzansi Magic.
Mseleku, who according to The Citizen is a journalist by profession (he worked at the SABC), is apparently a staunch polygamist who has even written a book on the matter, as “a gift to all those who wish to extend their families by adopting the practice of polygamy”.
The book, Mseleku wrote in the foreword, aimed to give polygamists “the strength and courage to live this life with full knowledge and understanding, being guided by God”.
So there you have it. The man knows his stuff. If you want to search for the book on Amazon, the book is called Imizamo kaCebo, written in isiZulu. No, it has not yet been translated in English. However, it is available as a PDF online, and costs N$79 excluding tax. We checked.
But back to Mseleku and his four happy wives. The wives are so gratified that they have told nearly all newspapers and magazines reporters who showed up to interview them how Mseleku is “a loving, humble and respectful man who provides for his family”.
Mseluku himself has told TimesLive that: “I have to satisfy all my women however they want to be satisfied. It is about more than money. You can’t make excuses, you must provide everything a wife wants.” So there you have it, the women are happy and indeed fully satisfied. All his wives live in separate nice houses and have two cars each. There is a family mechanic, and a driver to take his children to school.It helps that Mseleku is now a businessman because surely a journo’s salary could not provide for four wives and 10 children. Mbali MaNgwabe, one of his wives, told the newspapers that Mseleku “buys groceries and everything the children need. He gives us an allowance and I also have my salary, which I use to pamper myself, my children and my mother”.
In fact, the woman, who is a nurse, reveals that she has “a room full of shoes,” – and indeed, she is the envy of other women.
“Because of [my husband] I get to enjoy the money that I work hard for. But more than that I just love him so much,” she said.
Mseleku admitted that polygamy was not easy, but said money made things easier, as he could afford to take care of his family. The man himself claims to have 15 cars, each personalised as a thank you to his late mother.
Mseleku told The Sowetan that he intends having seminars around South Africa to share his marriage success story. The seminars will be on love and relationships. The first is scheduled for the second week of June in Durban.
Mseleku has always known that he wanted to be a polygamist. His first wife was actually his second girlfriend, whom he married first because her family was the first to accept his proposal knowing that she was entering what was set to be a polygamous marriage. The second wife was the first girlfriend, whose family took longer to accept the marriage proposal, not wanting their daughter to be married to a polygamous man. The two women knew each other when they were both girlfriends to Mseleku. And, according to Mseleku, the two women have been good girlfriends ever since.
And does this man know his wives. He describes his first wife Mamkhulu as a woman open to her feelings, a woman of not so many words but who would strike back if provoked. “She will tell you when she likes or dislikes something,” her husband said.
Then there is second wife MaYeni, who is calm, a good listener and who will ask her husband for clarification when she does not understand, but a woman who will also push back when necessary.
The third wife MaKhumalo is an open book, who hid her feelings before but is now more open. The fourth wife, MaNgwabe, is a quiet woman who can hold grudges for a time. “She always reminds me of past incidents when I forgot to do something,” Mseleku said.