Isdore Guvamombe & Freedom Mupanedemo
FOR more than a decade, Jack Chako (38) of Bolon Farm in Rafingora 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 eats from the same plate with her two husbands, and, during meals, she picks meat first as the head, followed by the senior husband Chimoto then Hwita, in that order.
This is not a script for a Nollywood film, but reality.
Polyandry, a practice in which a woman marries multiple husbands, is not common in Zimbabwe and is by and large not acceptable.
The Toda tribe of India is infamous for the practice, which is taboo here.
However, times are changing in Zimbabwe as people continue to cast a blind eye to polyandry.
It’s no longer peculiar to India, China or parts of Eastern Africa. It’s now common among Zimbabweans too.
While the shortage of resources, land and women population outnumbering men could be among reasons philosophers proffered as to why polyandry is rampant in India or China, the case seems much different here.
It has more to do with conjugal rights and sexual cravings.
In Zimbabwe, women constitute about 52 percent of the population.
According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, there are 93 men for every 100 women in Zimbabwe.
But against this statistical data, men here still find themselves being cajoled into polyandry, with the woman calling the shots.
Cases of two or more men living with one woman are increasingly becoming common.
One such a woman living with two men as her husbands is Jack Chako (38) of Bolon Farm in Rafingora.
For more than 10 years she has been living happily with her two darlings, Michael Hwita and Liford Chimoto- with whom she shares one bed.
She is the head of the family and always eats from the same plate with her two 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,” she enthused.
Chako says the two men have different roles.
And according to her, Chimoto is the elder husband hence the senior, while Hwita is the junior.
Chako claims that she “married” the second husband because Chimoto “is elderly and becoming weak in bed”.
“I love both men. They have different strengths. Chimoto fetches 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 broken goods, including cellphones and mends shoes too, making him bring cash home. His 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 is in charge and her two husbands are now used to sleeping side-by-side.
Chako, a mother of five — three children from a previous marriage and two from this polyandrous affair — says the two children she has from this set up are from Hwita.
She claims she used some concoction to pacify her 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 their husbands.
“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 with me until my parents ordered me to take him back. I then gave him a condition that I would 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.
Hwita and Chimoto are comfortable with this arrangement.
“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 appreciate the decision which was taken. We have different duties and life goes on.”
Chako is not the only woman in polyandry.
In Epworth, on the outskirts of Harare, there is another super woman, Ellen Svova, who cohabits with Kefas Takawira (40) and Tambudziko Svova (60).
The family has set tongues wagging in the neighbourhood, but unlike in Chako’s situation, Elen claims she did not use muti to cow her husbands.
Theirs is a bizarre love situation.
“I don’t use muti. My first husband Svova is ageing so he was no longer satisfying me in bed so he granted me the nod to have a second husband.”
There are many such marriages in Zimbabwe, but many still believe it’s taboo for a woman to marry two husbands.
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 it’s 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 children sired in this set up, whose surname do they take?” asked Mai Chisamba rhetorically.
Professor Pascal Ndlela said: “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.
“Often that second husband would be a relative to the first husband just like we do with issues like kugara nhaka.” — Zimpapers Syndication Services.