Oladotun Fadeyiye


While it is an age long tradition in some parts of the world, that a man could be married to more than 10 wives, It is some sort of crime in another part. Let’s reason this together, how would a man marry more than 10 wives, I mean even up to 30 living together under same roof in this present age and time? That still beats my imagination! Even though with the riches, wealth and power at disposal of such man, It is an unwholesome family structure and it is absurd!

Although, quite common in the stone and medieval ages but the reality of such situation in the 21st century still remain unfathomable for people like me, who believes in standard healthy living by aligning oneself with what would help in reducing the ever increasing poverty level, recurrent unemployment as well as making unhealthy family structure and values become the thing of the past.

My opinion may seem odd as oppose to those who still upholds the beliefs for such unhealthy family structure. However, because they have chosen to remain myopic to the right systems that work in the 21st century is one issue that the World has to contend with. In as much as, it sounds personal, it also an issue that would indirectly and negatively impart, the society that you and I lives in.

Let us view it from this perspective, some hold beliefs that say a man can marry as many as he desires. Have they thought of providing the basic needs for the offsprings that came out of such union and home? How much resources are available to such families? How responsible is the man ‘Father’ in the middle of this scenario?. It is a known fact that unhealthy family setting still exists and prevalent in most developing worlds, such as Africa, Asia and most parts of Middle East where marrying more than one wife has been considered to be one of the ways adopted to solve the problems of adultery in their societies and religions.

Already, world population is increasing on daily basis, with more developmental challenges bedeviling major economies of the world. And over-population being of these challenges. In Asia, for instance, I learned it has become part of the law for every home to cut down the number of their offsprings since early mid 2000s. We may assume that should be personal issue and not government or general law determining the number of kids that are being produced in various homes. But that’s how they thought they could control the population so as to improve on their own standard of living as well as socio-economic development.

According to MyWorld survey done by the United Nations in 2014, in determining the top 5 priorities for the next sustainable development goals. More than 7 million respondents across the world said they want better education, affordable and nutritious meal, responsive government, better healthcare and housing. These 5 priorites will only be actualised if the world population does not overwhelm the sustainable development goals itself. In other words, if we don’t discourage polygamy in the real sense of it, which contributes negatively to world population, the next sustainable development goals might just be in limbo!

Furthermore, in the developed world such as United States and UK. It is criminal for any man to marry more than one wife. It is only acceptable, if a man divorces one before he marries another. In Africa, however, history has it that our forefathers married more than one wives so as to have more helping hands working on their farms. Since, agriculture was their major preoccupation for sustenance back then. However, in the present times, what would be justifiable enough for any man to choose to marry with more than 5 wives still ridiculous to me.

Few days back, I and my colleagues debated the case of popular royalty in Middle East who died. Who was shockingly reported to have married 30 wives in his lifetime. Then I began to ask myself, could it be power? Position? wealth? Fame? Or Libido? Or part of the guiding principles/customs for the royalties in that part of world that prompted him to go that extent of 30 wives.

While debating the issue with some colleagues, some say he married them for prestige sake, some said it is to honour royalty. Looking at it from sexual satisfaction angle, one of them said he may never be able to satisfy them sexually. Another said, he must have been doing them in threesome or fivesome. However, my major concern is the number of children such union would produce? Were they been adequately provided for? Were they loved equally? Because these are the issues in polygamy. Even if answers to these questions is yes. I still consider polygamy one unhealthy family structure. And as such it should not be encouraged in any society.

By Dotun Roy

DotunRoy.com is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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