The agony of monogamy By Tola Adeniyi

Chief Dr Hannah Dideolu Awolowo

IT was at the church service for the 90th birthday of the legendary matriarch of the Awo dynasty, Chief Dr Hannah Dideolu Awolowo (HID) in Ikenne, that the thoughts that prompted this article began.

Some well known highly placed gentlemen and their wives were called upon to partake in the wine sipping, bread-breaking ritual called Holy Communion.

As soon as these respectable ladies and gentlemen, all of them past age 70, and amongst whom were renowned professors, high court judges, legal luminaries and business moguls, finished their spiritual blessing and were returning to their seats, they caught a pitiable sight in their over-flowing garb of hypocrisy.

They wore forlorn mien plastered with furrowed frowned faces like some one afflicted with putrid smell of heavy dose of fart. They looked as if they were mourning a three-year-old boy mistakenly killed by his own father, or the passing of a poor woman who has just succumbed to an excruciatingly painful cancer.

They clung to their wives as if they were newly wedded. I temporarily forgot that I was in a holy church, the spiritual enclave of Christians. I almost laughed my head off because I knew each of the ‘holy’ ‘monogamous’ men intimately and by Jove, I knew of their second, third or fourth wives/liaisons/mistresses with whom they had sired several children.

To the whole world, they were champions of monogamy, but to their hearts and conscience, they were/are celebrated polygamists, or at best, serial monogamists. Pshaw!   I saw pain written all over them, the agony of living a lie, the unease of hypocrisy, and the shame of going through life pretending to be what you are not.

This is the sort of agony a lot of the so-called monogamists go through all their lives. The series of lies they sell to their wives, and the double life they present to their pastors and church leaders, most of whom are equally guilty of hypocrisy and false life.

This piece is not set out to condemn or criticise monogamy. Monogamy is perfect for those who believe in its concept and can genuinely keep to it. I too have been married to one lovely woman for almost 45 years and it has been like a marriage made in heaven.

I happen also to be the promoter along with some friends of the 35-year-old Family Club of Nigeria which is dedicated to the upliftment and celebration of marriage and family values.

The article is designed to expose the hypocrisy and pain associated with embracing false notions which are really not observed by any culture in the world, and to advise those who erroneously sentence themselves to a life of sadness and emptiness because they were deceived to believe that there is some Utopia somewhere called monogamy.

I am very much aware that this article will generate a lot of controversies most especially from those who live holier-than-thou life and have continued to deceive the world that they are upholders of a doctrine that is not supported by true and enlightened interpretation of any religious doctrine.

The white men, I am yet to see any human being whose skin colour is like that of chalk, came and told the unfortunate lands they invaded that the cherished cultures, traditions and religions of such lands were rubbish, and instead indoctrinated them with values which they themselves never believed in or truly practised.

We know of King Henry Vlll and several major historical figures in ‘Christian’ Europe who had more than one wife in addition to a string of wives who their ‘laws’ forbade them to address as wives but who nonetheless perform all the functions of wife minus name.

God bless President Mitterrand who openly confessed to having two women in his life, with the one in the other house with whom he fathered an 18-year-old daughter at the time he passed on.

I have schooled, worked and lived virtually in all the continents of the world and I make bold to say with all emphasis at my disposal that no culture on planet earth truly practises monogamy.

My Greek, Italian, Russian, British, American and other Caucasians routinely visit their other wives (called by other names) with whom they have children.

But back in the homes shared with the one carrying the ring, they are monogamists!   If God had wanted humanity to be monogamous He or She would not have made the pigeon the only monogamous creature.

The cultures that practise polygamy had always known that at any given time, the number of available marriageable women far out-number available men plus the fact that an 80-year-old man, if he has money, is still very much in the market whereas a 60-year-old woman may not be that lucky. The biological limitation to a woman’s productive age is also a factor.

Why should a woman therefore remain on the shelf till age 45 when she could jolly well get married as second or sixth wife to a man who can afford to share life’s responsibilities with her? Why should a woman leave a man with whom she is No 1, simply because he took a second wife and end up being numberless in the hands of several men with whom she naturally shares bed just because of some doctrine she hardly understands?   All the women who should go and marry but are saying they do not want to share their man with another woman in a polygamous setting, are sharing current boyfriends with several other women.

Where is the logic?   The argument that children in a polygamous house are always at one another’s throat does not hold water. Many siblings of monogamous families are known to have had worse and irresolvable, irreconcilable squabble, with bitterness over inheritance than children from different mothers.

The agony suffered by both men and women in the hand of unnatural laws and doctrines is too stifling for comfort. In 2002, five hundred and two (502) Reverend Mothers were reported to have died while procuring abortion in Rome.

Nigerian Tribune wrote an editorial on the unfortunate incident. And stories of Reverend Fathers having children and sodomising young men in their care are legion! Why the hypocrisy? Why should the world continue to live the life of ostrich?   A well known Nigerian journalist hid his other wives from his wife because his religion would not permit of it and his wife, living in monogamy should not hear of it.

At his funeral service programmes, his nine wives surfaced and the woman parading the ring collapsed. It was the grace of God that prevented double interment that day! The western world, which had not learnt the art of living amicably with more than one partner under the same roof but has indulged in multiple serial marriages, divorcing (and in extreme cases, murdering) innocent wives under flimsy excuses so that another woman can move in, should not be measure of standard for the world. Thank God Mrs. Hillary Clinton in the U.S. and Mrs. Cook in England were very much wiser.

They refused to allow some indiscretion on the part of their husbands to ruin their marriages.   There was a well-known American actor who passed on about a decade ago and all his 11 ex-wives with their numerous children attended his funeral.

To ridicule the lie of their hypocritical existence, all the women were recognised and addressed as wives. As far as records show, the man had 11 wives!   Society must rethink this issue of pretentious monogamy vis-à-vis polygamy so that in the not-too-distant future, we do not end up with millions of unmarried women whose lifestyles would be worse than prostitutes’ and millions of children whose fathers would be nowhere to be found.



  1. I agree with most of the things written here but for me, its more about what God wants. Sentiments apart, will these polygamous men and their wives make heaven? A lot of times the surprised women just want to act surprised. If your husband has not touched you in 5 months is he now mother Theresa? I like monogamy and will hate to have a man dip his penis into my vagina after I know or not as the case may be that he dipped it elsewhere the night before. I no fit shout!

    • Where did God say polygamy is a sin? The white man is the one that said it and we all know how they are always perverting “God’s laws”.

  2. This article really touched on a lot of things we pretend and most times gloss over. Even the bible which is supposed to be our basis does not discriminate against polygamy. Name them. Abraham. Father of us all. Jacob. David( the man after God’s heart). So if God consents to it by approving men who practice it. Why do we punish ourselves or pretend to be holier than thou. Me think its a creation of women from the west to dominate men. Polygamous men are more forthright in marital matters. The church needs to stop the pretence and we shall have a more sincere worship.

  3. Is real a pretentious life most of us live because a reasonable percentage of men have other women in the their lives but no one is willing to declare it. I remember staying with my grandmother whose husband has to wives, the compound was so peaceful, the man never stole from his neighbors neither did fight or commited any atrocities in the society. The only sin he seems to have committed was that he was polygamous. But what do we have nowadays men supposedly married to one wife stealing public funds, murder and all sort and yet he is accepted even given positions in the church. Then what’s the way forward?

  4. Living a life of secrecy,is it peaceable?Having to lie from time to time;dealing with issues not only from a woman but two.The Bible is God’s word;so the Bible is against polygamy or those who claim to be monogamist(but are serial monogamist).

  5. T. Adeniyi, I salute your courage.
    The problem isn’t the ‘white man’, the problem is the African man (and any other man or woman) who have embraced the poverty of logic and the sweet sensuous laggard of reverse-reasoning.
    The problem is the myriads of hungry blind mouths that have eaten the fruits of delicious dogma and delicacies of indoctrination.
    As for you (and perhaps some others alike) you are free and your choice of monogamy isn’t based on the fear of burning forever in hell.Congrats!I tow that ‘liberal’and reasonable line, ride on brother.

  6. God bless d writer of this article. How else would he have done justice to d topic. Naturally human being like to pretend,despite knowing d truth.

  7. This notion that women outnumber men at marriageable levels was actually ‘started’ by me. Somehow, every Tom, dick and harry nowuphold that notion.

    But think about it, where is the scientific evidence? i was watching a documentary some time ago, and in fact it was found and scientifically PROVEN THAT This is not the case at all and that in fact there are more men than women. regional demographics may actually be a basis for this notion in Nigeria though. but it stll hasnt been proven for Nigeria.

    All these old catholic/ orthodox christian faith men are actually the worst. I know of a very stupid old man who has the worst moral ethics whatsoever, but knows how to not get his string of girlfriends pregnant in order to maintain his status as an educated honorable and respectable monogamist(he might as well be a farmer as he very much looks like one). the art of ‘chopping and clean mouth’ is his mastery. he knows the protocol. how to get his girlfriend into an hotel, club etc without being linked to him, but he still wants to maintain that ‘respectable’ image. the art of wanting to eat your cake and have it is what will send some men to their . . . .

  8. The writer said it all, that’s the Nigerian people for you, hypocrites and sycophants. We like to live in self denial. The article cheered me up. A good read

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