Last night during Book club Discussion Yazzy our blogger asked the question about Polygamy. Actually she said that she saw where I mentioned in a comment or a post that I agree with the act, to which I corrected her in stating that I did not agree with it, but I understand it, after it was explained to me from an African. I see polygyny/polygamy in Africa first hand, and while the whole concept after it was explained to me is understandable when you really think about it, for certain people it just would not work. Polygyny is man being allowed to have more than one wife, Polygamy is the ability to have more than one wife or husband, men and women can do this as opposed to Polygyny which only pertains to men. The more than one husband thing appeals to me, bad, nah tell no ie!
The article below is one I found this morning on the internet, but I had originally written on this subject before. In the story I had posted before I told a story of Alhajji in Nigeria, I will copy and paste that which I wrote here;
This morning I sat at my computer wondering what subject will I write on today. I am not a good typist and I am very spontaneous, so I do not plan ahead before I put a topic up. I just sit and write, then I go off down memory lane, some memories as many of you know are very painful for me to re-visit, but as I sit here this morning, my many life experiences becomes alive in my head, begins to swirl around, probably saying “pick me, pick me”, lol.
I woke up this morning to someone banging the gate of our compound and saw that it was Alhajji, a friend of my husband who would often come to visit us sometimes and was a very funny man, funny as in comedian. The name Alhajji tells us that he is Muslim and has made a pilgrimage a to the Holy City Of Mecca, which for Muslims is like Christians going to Jerusalem, Jews going to Israel, Orisha people going to Ile Ife and the Rasta man going to Ethiopia, earning him this very prestigious name/title and for a woman who has made the trip to Mecca she would be referred to as Alhajja. Alhajji was here to see my husband because yesterday his first wife was at our compound to report Alahjji. Alhaii has three wives, but according to the first wife Miriam, he had not been home in a month. Meanwhile we saw Alhajji everyday with his sweetheart on our compound,… oonuh notice mi sey sweetheart, ?…not included in the three wives enuh, bad ei si!!, and I am not laughing, although I like him I do not condone those kinds of behavior, but I observe and say nothing….. Miriam has five children for Alhajji, and the other wives each had two. They all did not live in the same household, but they all spoke and were friendly to each other, and referred to each other as “my wife”…(We Jamaican women couldn’t handle this yah at all, we too aggressive and territorial, not even sister Jezebel and the Empress dem from uppa Bobo hill wouldda good wid this, no sah!).
Miriam begged my husband to talk to Alhajji because the children at home were asking for their dad, the youngest one was three months old, and also people were talking, and she also told him that the other wives had already reported Alhajji to her. So my husband sent one of our boys, after trying to get Alhajji on the phone without success, to give him a message to come see him on our compound so that the matter could be resolved. This is what I love about Africa and African people. The interest of everyone is a community affair. If there is a problem elders of the family or of tradition or community leaders or heads are called in for a meeting to resolve an issue. The propaganda which have been made up by the media to stigmatize Africans as Savages, Neanderthals, Illiterates, and more is far from the truth. I am not saying that there are no thieves and bad people here but no more than everywhere. The family and community unit is is strong, solid and binding. I cannot say it enough, I am a proud African!
I try not to be judgmental because I know for sure that all that happens in life good or bad are for us to learn from, so we must focus and be objective at all times. Being judgmental closes our minds and blinds us from reality and certain truths revealed to us through physical beings and non-physical ones. Approach everything with an objective mind, this is how you will learn and understand situations deemed incomprehensible or which stretches the limitations of our minds.
I know it is not easy because we all (most people) have our minds already set on how certain things ought to be and when we observe or are privy to what we believe should or should not be so, we judge, this is human emotions operating off limitations. Apart from having three wives Alhajji has girlfriends, these he has to hide from the wives, but I am sure they know because we see him around town and at every party with a different woman every month. I complained to my husband about Alhajji’s behavior because it bothered me, (I am no busybody but I was offended by his waywardness, having already three wives) bad enough he had all those wives but girlfriends??! is what him have so special? And I did not like that influence around my husband, lol, yes man, mi Jamaican self come out and bad him up pon it. I could not help it.
He laughed and told me that they were of two different character and Alhajji destiny was not the same as his so I should calm down and with wisdom and clear understanding I did. I once asked someone here in Africa about this polygyny/polygamy, why was it accepted and allowed to happen, and he said it was the best thing! Shocked but never showing it, I asked him to explain.
He said that there are many different circumstances why a man would want more than one wives and many reasons why the woman would accept to be apart of an extended family. According to him if the man marries the first wife and they have children and are happy together with no problems the possibility to be tempted to step out of his marriage and have a relationship or sex with another woman is always present regardless of his love and devotion to his current wife, who knows what tomorrow may bring?. The temptation of the flesh is real and rather than having a “girlfriend” and sneaking about the place with her, and when the wife calls he cannot answer his phone or he lies. Also if she becomes pregnant he is responsible not only for the child but also for her and he cannot abandon her or hide her or the child so he brings her into the family as his second wife, or as the Yoruba call it Iyawo! first wife is Iyale if she is the only wife then it is Iyawo which means wife (E-yah-wo Iywo or E-yah-lay- Iyale)...ohh note this.. As a rule, he must discuss this with the first wife and she must agree before the second wife comes into the family, if she resists, then family from both sides are called in for a meeting, if resistance is still met often tmes the man will still go ahead and marry the girlfriend but he will allow her to have her own home or apartment. The JuJu in these kind of relationship is plenty however. Often times the man will marry and the other wives smiles and welcome the new wife, but give her hell with Juju and the families join in wid de obeah..lol..sometimes they turn the Juju on the children and even kill the husband. It is a good thing for us to try and understand other people culture, to step outside our box with an open mind and plus it makes for an interesting topic at a dinner party..
Then there is within the traditional practices when a person becomes initiated and receives Ifa, he is told through his life’s plan (Odu) by the other priests/babalawos that he will have more than one wife, some are told that he can only have one wife, again it depends on his Odu. With this there is no choice, because it has been predicted ,written out by you before you come from heaven to earth, This is also practiced within the Islam religion and the women are mentally prepared to accept this from an early age and the men are expected to carry it through according to the holy Koran. However Imams and practicing muslims have told me that a man is to marry his brothers wife, if he is killed and cannot be there for his responsibility, marry in way of taking her and the children on, it was not meant for him to be intimate with her, but dem tun it fi dem way!
To further understand this very interesting subject let me share this article with you. I know it is long, but read it at your leisure, information is knowledge and knowledge can never be bad…also tek in de video up top!
Irun ò ni kún kí abẹ ma lè ge. /
The hair can’t be so bushy that the blade won’t be able to cut it. Yoruba Proverb!
All religion are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…..Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned…..Obara Meji
Longtime post from Embracing Spirituality below have a read;
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.