FOR more than a decade, Jack Chako (38) of Bolon Farm in Raffingora has been living happily with her two husbands, Michael Hwita and Liford Chimoto, with whom she shares one bed.
Chako is the head of the family and always eats from the same plate with her two husbands, and during meals, she picks up meat first as the head, followed by the senior husband Chimoto then the junior husband Hwita, in that chronological order.
This is not a script for a Nollyhood film, but reality.
Last year, The Weekender carried a story about Zhula (30), whose real name is Memory Mlambo and a resident of Zimta section of Mutare, who claims that her life is a bed of roses and is getting maximum satisfaction from the two men, Fungai Matandaudyi and Wesley Gora who also confirmed that they had given the arrangement thumbs-up.
Polyandry, a practice where a woman marries multiple husbands, is not common in Zimbabwe and is by and large not acceptable. The Toda tribe of India is famed for the practice, which is taboo in Zimbabwe.
However, times are changing in Zimbabwe as the matrimony institution continues to turn a blind eye on polyandrous marriage, with only the media
It’s no longer peculiar to India, China or some parts of the Eastern Africa. It’s now a fecund with some Zimbabweans too.
While shortage of resources, land and women population out-numbering men could be some of the reasons philosophers proffered as to why polyandry is rampant in India or China, the case seems much different in Zimbabwe where the practice is still largely seen as a taboo.
It has more to do with conjugal rights and sexual cravings. In Zimbabwe, women constitute about 52 percent of the total population with men taking the remaining 48 percent.
According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency there are 93 men for every 100 women in Zimbabwe. But against this statistical data, some men in Zimbabwe still find themselves being cajoled into polyandry with the woman calling the shots.
Cases of two or more men living with one woman as wife are increasingly becoming common in Zimbabwe. Chako is one such a woman to have stood the test of time living with two men as her husbands.
“We are a happy family, I live with my two husbands and we love one another. My two husbands are best friends and they are always together,” boasted Chako.
She says the two men have different roles and between the two is a senior husband and his junior. And according to her, Chimoto is the elder husband hence the senior while Hwita is the junior.
Chako brazenly claims that she “married” the second husband Hwita because Chimoto “is elderly and increasingly becoming weak in bed”.
“I love both men. They have different strengths. Chimoto fetches a lot of firewood and cleans up the house well but he is weak in bed and weak when it comes to fending for the family. The reason why I married a second husband is that Chimoto was starving me sexually.
“Hwita is also technically minded. He repairs a lot of broken goods, including cell phones and cobbles shoes too, making him bring some cash home. His biggest strength is he is excellent and strong in bed.
“To be honest, in terms of conjugal rights I favour Hwita. He gets me there. I only do it with Chimoto as a token. At times, I feel pity for Chimoto and give him token conjugal rights and he appreciates that. The rule is no one gets out of the room, because he is not on duty. Whoever is not on duty, just watches us at it,” narrated Chako
She maintains that she was in charge and his two husbands are now used to sleeping side by side in one bed.
“They don’t mind and they both appreciate each other for the different roles each play to the family,” she said
Chako — a mother of five, three children from a previous marriage and two from this polyandrous affair — says all the two children she has in this set up are from Hwita.
She claims she used some concoction to pacify his two men.
“It is not a secret that I used a concoction to cow them down. I also sell this concoction to other women to cow down their errand husbands and make them compliant.
“None of my two husbands wishes to leave me. Initially I only had Chimoto but I ran away from him and went to my parents’ home because he was not satisfying me sexually and I was tired of stealing sex from neighbouring boys and men. But he followed and pleaded until my parents ordered me to take him back.
“ I then gave him a condition that I should get another man to help him in bed and he agreed. This is how I got the second one.
“Since then, we live happily and enjoy our life, although we know that the generality of people around us do not like it,” says Chako.
Both Hwita and Chimoto said they don’t have problems taking Chako says their joint wife.
“I see no problem. She loves both of us and we understand our situation. I respect Chimoto as the elder husband because I found him here.
Chimoto added, “I know my failings and I appreciate the decision which was taken, we have various duties and life goes on.”
But Chako is not the only woman in polyandry. In sprawling Epworth, on the outskirts of Harare, is one such super woman, Ellen Svova, who cohabits with two husbands, Kefas Takawira (40 and Tambudziko Svova (60).
The polyandry family has set tongues wagging in the neighbourhood but unlike in Chako’s situation, Elen claims she did not use concoction to cow her two husbands. Theirs is a bizarre love situation.
“I don’t use concoction. My first husband Svova is ageing so he was no longer satisfying me in bed so he gave me the green light to have a second husband,” she claims.
There are many such marriages in Zimbabwe but many still believe it’s a taboo for a woman to marry two husbands.
Popular social commentator, Rebecca Chisamba, aka Mai Chisamba says it’s not our culture for a woman to cohabit with two men.
“We have had situations like that in Zimbabwe but to me its madness. It’s not in our culture to have one woman cohabiting with two men.
“One simple reason why this is not possible is that when we marry, we take the husband’s surname so if these two men chose to stay with one woman as wife, does that mean they take the wife’s surname? What of the children sired in this bizarre set up, whose surname do they take?” asked Mai Chisamba rhetorically.
Another social commentator, Professor Pascal Ndlela said most men who find themselves married to one wife would have initiated the set up.
“It’s an absurd situation especially given our cultural orientation but then we should understand the background of such set ups. Normally it would have been the first husband who initiates the idea but often that second husband would be a relative to the first husband just like we do with issues of kugara nhaka (inheritance),” said Prof Ndlela. — Zimpapers Syndication.