NEWSPAPERS in several countries, including the United Kingdom and India, have jumped on the trending story of a 66-year-old Zimbabwean man, Misheck Nyandoro, who has proudly fathered 151 children from 16 wives and is still planning to take more wives.
The story was originally published by state-owned The Herald newspaper in Harare before it was widely shared on social media and international tabloids, including The Sun, which labelled Nyandoro ‘the world’s most fertile dad.’
‘Mine is a project. This polygamy is a project that I have undertaken since 1983 and will end with my death. Whenever that day death visits, is when I will stop marrying and fathering children,’ Nyandoro told The Herald.
‘I am planning on taking in my 17th wife this winter and the formalities are already being worked on. I will tell you when she comes in.’
A former member of the Zimbabwe National Army, Nyandoro currently has 50 children in different schools across Zimbabwean cities, including Harare and Mutare.
The Herald reported that Nyandoro, who is now unemployed, spends his days sitting in his centrally located shed, eating meals, one by one, as his wives bring him 16 meals, one after the other.
‘Every wife cooks her best every day because the rule is I only eat what is delicious and I throw away what is not tasty. Every wife subscribes to that rule and does not get annoyed when I return her badly cooked food to her.
‘It is the rule here. Rejected food should make her cook better next time,’ Nyandoro told the widely read publication.
The father of 151 has a roster for his wives’ conjugal rights and by his own admission, when planning the roster, he takes into consideration many factors. No wife knows she is on ‘duty’ until he visits her bedroom.
‘I married my first wife in 1983 and she is still here. I last married in 2015 and stopped temporarily because the economy had become unfriendly.
‘The new dispensation has slowly fixed things and I am getting a new one this June. She is currently in Harare and I have started the process.
‘Had it not been for temporary economic hardships, the story would have been different, maybe getting close to 30 wives by now and 200-plus children,’ Nyandoro said.
The 66-year-old claims he does not feel the financial burden of having over 150 children and claims that he has actually benefited from his giant family.
He said: ‘My children spoil me. I’m constantly receiving gifts and cash from them and my step-sons.’
He told The Herald that, each night, he gives conjugal rights to an average of four wives.
Renowned Zimbabwean arts journalist Silence Charumbira said that, as in numerous African settings, polygamy has deep cultural roots in the country but societal views are now shifting.
‘Polygamy is common in Zimbabwe. It has deep cultural roots. A man with multiple wives was often rich because he had many people to work in his fields and also had many children. That same man would also brag of his prowess in the bedroom. It somewhat gave the man clout,’ said Charumbira.
‘However, societal views on the matter have shifted and polygamous men are now largely viewed as womanisers and perverts. There is so much more to marriage than sex, and women must be equal partners in marriage.’