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How to manage two wives: The story of a successful polygamous Kenyan man

I recently had lunch in the home of one of my fathers. This man has two homes – two wives. We were in one home – the House of Commons (read on….).

Every time I meet Mzee, I ask him about his management style.

Mzee is now in his early 70s. A respected man in the country, very well schooled and a pioneer in his field. He married two women – they are 15 years younger than him and equally successful in their careers.

So how does he manage his family?

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#1. Mzee has provided equal facilities for the two homes. By facilities I mean, similar homes (registered in their names), the wives drive similar car models and their children all went to the same schools.

#2. Mzee ensured all his children knew each other. Every morning before the kids left for school, he had breakfast with them in whatever home he had spent the night. Then the old man would pray over them and release them for the day. Breakfast was compulsory and even when he traveled, he left instructions on which wife would conduct the prayers.

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#3. The home of wife 1 is referred to as the House of Lords – this is where the major rules and decisions are made. Wife 2’s home is referred to as the House of Commons. This is where all the parties and social events are held.

#4. The kids can sleep in any home. They are treated equally by not only the mothers but also the workers.

#5. The kids must address all the mothers with respect and call them Mama. Since the kids all went to one school, the mothers would agree on who would attend school meetings.

#6. Mzee says, in his culture, gender roles are well defined. He is the HEAD of the home and makes all the rules. His wives are helpers who he has empowered. The bank accounts require 3 signatories.

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#7. He shared his wealth with all his kids once they graduated and started their families. Whatever he has now, he says, is for him and his wives. He has written a Will with clear instructions of how he will be disposed.

If you know a man who runs his family like Mzee, let’s share notes.

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