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Polygamist Mpilo Hospital acting CEO opens up on having three wives

Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya has opened up about his polygamy revealing that he has three wives all living under the same roof.

Ngwenya, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was this week blessed with his eighth child and gave an interview to the State owned Chronicle newspaper.

“I come from a deep conservative family. I’m a descendant of the Zwide Kalanga family, which came here with King Mzilikazi with my grandfather as his chief advisor,” he said.

“Riches and big families have been a part of us since then and there was no way I could rid myself of this rich culture because of education.

“Polygamy is one of our cornerstones and I would like to shed more light on the practice, which is founded on equality and ensuring one grows their legacy even beyond their life.

“My father had more than 20 children from two wives and I was the youngest, a child of his old age as he had me when he was 63,” says Prof Ngwenya.

“I had ample time to learn more about my roots while herding donkeys in Lupane and interacting with my father,” said Prof Ngwenya.

“I always knew that I would have a big family like them and I take pride in that.”

“I’m married to MaMkandla, MaMkhwananzi, and MaKhanye and currently have eight children. I cannot say I will stop at three wives, no, that is dependent on what the elders will require of me.

“However, I know that I will grow this clan and do my best to continue in the footsteps of my forefathers,” he said.

“Polygamy is not a product of lust as some people assume but a cornerstone of our culture, which was instituted to grow our people,” he added.

“In polygamy, equality and honesty must reign supreme for one to be able to build a happy marriage.

“I have always been clear with all my women and all of them get to know that I’m a polygamous man whose role is to fulfil the vision of his forefathers. It’s not about greed or lust but safeguarding my culture as a traditional guy.”

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“Polygamy has been badly managed especially after colonisation whereby wives see each other as rivals but they are supposed to be in a sisterhood,” he said.

“So, I go for women who understand culture and the fact that I want a big family, which cannot come from one woman. My role then is to provide for all their needs and treat them equally so that they remain happy all the days of their lives.”

“You cannot spend all your time with the new wife, no, you’ll destroy your marriage. You have to have resources of course. There is no way you can earn US$100 and you want polygamy, it won’t work! How do you share $100 even among two women?

“Women have so many needs including hair, clothes, nails and all sorts of presents they like receiving daily. It’s no child’s play honestly,” he said.

“I respect women for their household and motherhood duties. It’s a full-time job on its own hence I will rather have them stay at home and build the clan while I work so hard to provide for all their needs,” said Prof Ngwenya.

“In a polygamous relationship you cannot lie because women talk and can easily pick any funny thing and you have broken the cardinal rule of how to maintain your marriage.

“Even if their needs differ, you have to ensure an equal amount is spent on all of them. They cannot live in different suburbs. That is why we live in one house, which has extensions. They, however, eat from the same plate.”

“As a learned man I know how important it is to protect women from any form of abuse, hence we don’t have seniority in our marriage.

“They are all equal and whenever there are disputes, we try and solve them amicably without fear or favour so that even the day I die these women will live peacefully knowing there were no favourites and that I loved and treated them equally,” he said.

“No one gets any favors, money or presents from me secretly at home. We declare everything so that our marriage survives. I think serious men should only go for polygamy once they understand its role in our culture,” said Prof Ngwenya.

“They should also desist from having mistresses, it’s against our culture, its either one is in a monogamous relationship or polygamous relationship.”

His eldest wife Princess Mnkandla told the paper that the wives were not in competition with each other.

“From the day I fell in love with Ngwenya, I knew what I was getting myself into and I accepted that I will have sister wives,” she said.

“Polygamy is doable and fun only if you are willing to make it work and for us, it’s a sisterhood that gets better with each passing day,” said MaMnkandla.

“We can easily eat from the same with all our children and it’s so normal for us to just gather, chat, laugh and enjoy life as one unit. Ever since Ngwenya brought in the new wives his treatment hasn’t changed, I still get all the love, money, attention as if I was the only wife. He is constant and very honest and we love that more about him as our husband.”

“Besides the love, money, presents we get from uNgwenya, we have duties to host our husband and the duty roaster is maintained. He doesn’t have a specific bedroom. He has to be in one of the rooms and there is never a day where he sleeps alone,” she said.

“When we fight, we try to resolve our conflicts as women to make it work to maintain the harmony, which is very possible if everyone plays their part.” she said.