Grandmaster of polygamy
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Married more than 130 times…still going strong at age 92. This in a country where it is difficult to live past 50!
Clearly, Akuku had little time for chess…
- He has so many wives and children they need a new building to be able to worship together. The family has built a church for itself.
- He has divorced more than 85 women (because they were unfaithful to him!). “I showed the door to those who misbehaved,” he says. He remained with 45 wives. However, 16 of them have since died. Today, he lives with 29.
- By his most conservative estimate is that he has 160 children and more than 400 grandchildren. 35 of his sons have died to date. He stays in contact with his family thru FACEBOOK!
- He cautions men not to imitate him because HIV and Aids pandemic.
Lessons from the king of polygamy
Who is Akuku?
Some call him danger, some the King of Polygamy but to me Akuku Danger is a grandfather, a loving family man and an epitome of good management practices. His story has been told over and over but, for us family members, he is a pillar of strength and a source of inspiration.
How big is your family?
Akuku married a record 130 wives but divorced more than half of them and reclaimed his dowry. Some 45 women are settled in his three homes, with their houses dotting villages of Aora Chudho, Ndhiwa and Alendu in Nyatike constituency. He has over 300 children and more than 400 grandchildren. Most men would not manage a family this size. Bringing up an abnormally big family was not an easy task, but Akuku has successfully and productively handled the unit. I see a lot of management skills in this.
Does he rule with an iron fist?
Akuku generally was a bureaucrat. He believed in centralised power and he was the centre. The ultimate authority rested with him and all the wives and the children could not do anything without getting permission from him.
Was there any family planning?
Akuku was a good planner. In as much as he married so many wives, rarely would you find one of the wives having more than four children. Akuku knew the value of education and, because paying school fees for over 100 children proved to be an uphill task, he educated the first-born of every wife, and left the responsibility of educating the younger siblings to them. Today, my grandfather is a proud father of doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen and businesswomen, among others. He is always interested in getting an update on the level of education his grandchildren have acquired.
What’s the story behind the shorts and his dress style?
Everyone is talking of branding. Akuku is blessed with a stature that would be every man’s envy, standing at 2.1 metres. His fashion statement complements his physique. He is a man of style and his combo consists of khaki shorts, knee high socks, white shirt and a tie or neck scarf and, of coursea parted haircut. Occassionally, he will don a Stetson hat. The man is a freak when it came to cleanliness and ensures that his wives keep his white shorts spotless.
What drew the women?
The Akuku brand really sold. One thing that comes out anytime I talk with my grandmothers is that the reason they never minded getting married to a man who already had so many wives is his style. His style was irresistible and his words slick — he knew how to make women feel great and important. Several of his wives recommended him to their sisters and nieces, and he married them too.
What’s Akuku’s trick?
His convincing power was amazing. Though never formally educated, Akuku would have made one of the best sales people in the modern world.
This explains how he managed to establish a business empire for himself, ranging from matatu business, tailoring, general trading and farming.
Akuku with his first wife, Dinah. Married in 1939. His latest wife is barely 20.
He was a n active, witty man and boasts of never failing to win any woman he wooed. This earned him the name — Danger. He says that he was very witty and men would give up on any lady they noticed he liked as no one could win over him.
Is Akuku’s a role model today?
Akuku Danger is revered as a hero and an icon of the Luo cultural practices, not because he married many wives but because of how successfully he managed to bring up a very abnormally huge polygamous family. He is to many a role model and people keep referring to him on how to keep stable marriages. He puts a caveat for the young people though — he was a successful businessman and could take care of the many wives. He advises that polygamy equals more family responsibilities for a man. He does not advise any young person to emulate him: Not with the current HIV and Aids menace.
”I married those who I lost my heart for.”
FROM THE GRANDMASTER POLYGAMIST’S MOUTH
- ” I was stung by the marriage bug and have had no choice but to perpetuate the practice.”
- ” I have never failed to win a woman’s heart. I know what to tell them and make them laugh. I know how to draw them closer. This has been my art,”
- ”I’m called Danger because I defeated so many men I was very handsome and so I could get many wives.”
- “When I passed, people would point at me and call me Danger.“
- “I am still very strong, though I am now worn out and cannot sire more children,”
- “Avoiding too much fat and salt has enabled me escape opportunistic diseases. I eat at the right time. And I just don’t eat anything. I am served special food that is well prepared. I always eat a fruit after every meal,”
- “I had spies attached to each home. They briefed me on how each woman went about her business in my absence both during the day and at night,”
- “I can’t fail to know my children. When they are born I am the one who is consulted to give them a name. So I can’t forget,”
- “Once I have educated the first-born of every wife, it is their task to sponsor the education of the younger siblings,”
- “I lived a lavish lifestyle. I was always ready to spend money on women.I always made sure that I got the girl I wanted.”
- “Today my children are my wealth. I have educated them well,”
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS