By SOC Okenwa
From the onset let me unequivocally declare that my late dad, Chief Okenwa Unachukwu, "Enyimuru Ezeoke 1" was a traditional polygamist who married three wives. Though he belonged to the past when keeping to tradition and culture of our people was sacrosanct and binding on almost everybody living in Igboland he may have not done so if he were born in this new millenium, this new sophisticated IT age. Today the new generation of Igbos have evolved embracing modern trends and becoming more believers in the doctrines of Christianity as encapsulated in the Holy Bible. One hardly, these days, sees an Igboman marrying more than one wife.
South Africa as a country is a beautiful landscape, a haven for tourists of all backgrounds -- whites and blacks. The best image of the country happens to be the 'face' of one Madiba, ex-President Nelson Mandela who spent decades in jail during the Apartheid era for his bruising struggle against the infamous white minority rule. After serving one term in office as first black President Madiba honourably withdrew from continuing in office paving the way for a successor in Thabo Mbeki -- to continue from where he had stopped. Today his profile has globally risen to that of an immortal comparable to the very greatest men who had the courage and conviction to change the world we live in for good!
I have been to Johannesburg and Cape Town and I will like to say here fairly that South Africa is a great country indeed. When a first-time visitor lands in a Jo'burg Airport the first everlasting impression is that of a developed country in an impoverished African continent. The only positive side of Apartheid, one must admit, could be said to be the infrastructural revolution achieved by the Whites. Though a visit to Soweto conveys another message altogether (one of gangsterism, of poverty and majority injustice) something is right with the imagination and developmental responsibility of those that lorded it over the majority black population for close to a century. At least for SA's today they gave their yesterday!
Besides, South Africa is reputed to be a country of melody too. Apart from giving the world a talented reggae great in the late Lucky Dube the Rainbow nation boasts of rich Gospel artists who sing out loud in robust praise and worship of the Most High God! Some of them are holding my listening ear 'hostage' daily: Rebecca Malope, Benjamin Dube, Kholeka, Deborah etc.
But South Africa (SA) has many bad images developed over time. One of these is street violence. In the cities and townships one could be gunned down in broad daylight! Attacks and counter-attacks happened daily as drug barons and cultists battle for supremacy. The way and manner people handled rifles and pistols gave the impression of a violent society where life could be taken without any iota of reason. Again, another blight happens to be HIV/AIDS pandemic. And yet another is rape.
HIV/AIDS continues to claim lives daily in SA and the country has the greatest number of victims in the continent! The ignoble role played by the former President Thabo Mbeki who linked AIDS with poverty went a long way to encouraging the young and old to embrace unsafe sexual attitudes inimical to good health and long life. Mr Mbeki was known to be against neo-colonialism and imperialism to the extent that whenever the issue of AIDS came up during his ill-fated presidency he dismissed same as a ploy by the West to control the African growing population!
The AIDS scourge continues to deplete the South African population post-Mbeki because of manifest ignorance and leadership irresponsibility. The issue of rape in South Africa is a serious one as no day passes by without report of a rape incident sometimes involving teenagers and even babies! While holidaying there few years ago I had asked my good friend if the price of sex was so expensive as to warrant raping girls in spite of the prevalent HIV environment? And his answer was 'No' citing frustration with the system and cultural and moral decadence in a land where blacks had not fared any better as widely expected after the collapse of Apartheid. The marginalised black youths often vent their anger on any girl that missed her way and found herself at a wrong place!
According to the BBC a recent survey suggested that more than a quarter of the country's men had admitted raping a female. About 66,000 rapes were reported in the country last year although experts say many victims remain silent. This statistics make SA the rape enclave of the continent! If you add rape to AIDS and add violence and xenophobia South Africa presents a perfect picture of a nation in moral turmoil, one at war with itself!
Much like President Olusegun Obasanjo who had wanted to stop, by hook or by crook, his VP Atiku from contesting the presidency for fear of possible prosecution for corruptible acts President Mbeki had used crude means (including false accusations) to try to eliminate the then VP Jacob Zuma from mounting the 'throne' as President. Like Obasanjo Mbeki failed and was consequently sent packing by the ruling party, the ANC. Unlike in Nigeria where the ruling party, the PDP, is 'owned' by few 'stakeholders' with the President as 'national leader' the African National Congress in South Africa (a battle-weary century-old political machine) is not the 'property' of a sitting president or a party chairman.
When President Zuma, the 'Msholozi', overcame the Mbeki challenge however and came to power he was greeted by an ugly sexual past in which he was said to have had sex with an HIV/AIDS patient! And his defense? Zuma had obviously agreed with the revelation but insisted that he could not have been infested with the deadly disease because he had his bath as soon as he 'dismounted' from the woman's 'private garden'! He had argued, with bizzare gusto, that having showered immediately after the sexual intercourse he was sure he would never be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS! One does not know the status of the President now as regards HIV to be able to determine if his awkward position proved true or false.
Like the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan President Zuma is a dour and uninspiring character but unlike the Nigerian leader who happens to be a good husband to Dame Patience and a responsible family man Zuma was reported to have taken a sixth wife recently! While President Zuma as an African man with deep connections to his Zulu roots may have committed no crime by marrying as many wives as he desired his libido problem can no longer be hidden behind these arguments. While one is not sure whether he is a Christian or pagan it is only in the Holy Koran that the faithful is enjoined to marry as many wives as possible so far as the resources are there to take good care of the women and love them in equal measure.
A good dancer of the traditional Zulu war dance Zuma, now 70, gives the impression of playing politics akin to a smooth operator, a master of the game; the way he rattled Mbeki, a more educated flamboyant figure, must have sent across a message to his opponents that the man knows his onions even though progressive politics and radicalism cannot be said to be his attributes. Neither can he be said to be audacious nor dangerous for the system: the delicate political equilibrium in 'Mandela-land' between the majority 'land-owners' and the minority 'land-grabbers' whose toil produced the SA magic.
Looking timid but calm (and sometimes melancholic) Mr Zuma is known to be taking unpopular positions whenever issues African demanding his support arise. During the protracted politico-military crisis in Cote d'Ivoire last year Zuma was known to be a supporter of deposed President Laurent Gbagbo. With President Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola and the 'demented' Gambian dictator Yaya Jammeh joining Zuma in his pro-Gbagbo and anti-imperialist position Gbagbo digged in believing that his cause was just and right. Alas they were all proved wrong with President Ouattara in full command now in Abidjan!
Just recently President Zuma was in the global news for morally-wrong reason: a controversial full length painting of him with his genitals exposed called “The Spear” by a gifted satirical artist Brett Murray had forced a confrontation between those who support free expression and those who see racism alive and well and living on the tips of the tongues of most white South Africans. And way back in 2008 a law suit was instituted against one of the country's most high-profile artists, Zapiro, after he depicted Mr Zuma about to rape a female figure representing justice!
The blissful way and manner Zuma, father of 21 children(!), is going about taking one wife after another while dutifully working as the leader of a unique great nation gives the impression that he might be 'competing' with the King of Swaziland who is now in his fourteenth wife 'grab' in Mbabane -- with 23 children in tow! In style and substance Zuma and King Mswati III (real names Makhosetive Dlamini) have something in common: the penchant to use their high positions to woo and sometimes grab daughters of Eve!
While Mswati III, educated in England, is known for his taste for luxury and life of opulence in a poor country where he is absolute monarch President Zuma is a gentleman of moderate taste and lifestyle, or so it seems. The Swazi King made name around the world for wrong reasons last year when his 12th wife, Nothando Dube, 23, was reportedly caught making love with the then Justice Minister, Ndumiso Mamba, his close childhood friend, while he was away on a state or royal visit abroad! Abomination!? Taboo!!?
Well, the young lady must have had enough of the royal nonsense that sought to put her in a modern opulent sexual prison! The former Miss Swaziland who married the King when she was just 16 must have felt the urge to 'taste' another 'human pistol' having been unable to 'control' or 'command' his majesty's shared 'golden pistol'. After the sexual scandal she was held under 'house arrest' in the royal palace for more than a year before she was unceremoniously kicked out.
Whereas King Mswati III's own libido problem could be defended as hereditary (his late father King Sobhuza II who joined his ancestors in 1982 had 70 wives, 210 children and at the time of his death left over 1000 grandchildren!) and in accord with the spirit of the African traditional rulership the source of 'Msholozi's' libido problem is very difficult to decipher here. Perhaps a psychologist or a sociologist of repute conversant with problems of this kind could step out and tell us -- the laymen -- more.
While some people, in the final analysis, might not know that the biggest sexual organ is the brain which produces the chemicals and hormones that trigger feelings of love and attraction, arousal and orgasm the executive commanding positions of these two 'great polygamous lovers' could give them the feeling of 'paradise' on earth thus fulfilling all biblical exhortations for homo sapiens to reproduce and fill the earth! All things considered, positive and negative as they relate to this matter, President Jacob Zuma and King Mswati III might be 'victims' of their ever-busy brains which invariably lead them to want to be in a state of sexual bliss -- especially at the home front after a hard day's job!
We wish them more orgasm and more 'bullet' to their respective 'executive destructive pistols'. They remain uncommon men with uncommon balls indeed! More solid erection to their manhood!
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