Who’s your polydaddy?

”Surely rampant slip-ups in the bedroom by world leaders must count for something among threats to the world economy.”

Surely rampant slip-ups in the bedroom by world leaders must count for something among threats to the world economy

Recently I wondered about the demand for greeting cards that say “for my favourite mother/dad/wife”. As opposed to what, I asked myself? I have always thought that we all have one mother and father. A few lucky ones might have more than one wife but even then, it is not the norm.

But a knowledgeable friend of mine helped me understand why there is a market for such cards. She chose ANC president Jacob Zuma to demonstrate her point. Here we go. As you know, Zuma has several wives—I am saying several only because I am envious—not because I have lost count. Among them was our former foreign affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Now in African tradition, the children of Dlamini-Zuma would also call the other wives of Msholozi “mum”, but Dlamini-Zuma would be their favourite mum, naturally.

She went on to explain that single mothers who insist that children from past liaisons refer to their new husbands as “dad” should understand when their children buy two greeting cards: one for dad and the other for “my favourite dad”. I suspect the honour of being favourite dad would be rotated depending on who has been a good dad all year long, buying gifts, showering the child with loads of money.

So, from this analogy I realised that, beyond polygamy, there is also polymummy, polydaddy and polybaby. And therefore if these three can be allowed, condoned or even admired, why is so much shame attached to polygamy? I mean if I am allowed to be a dad to my children, and to the children of my next wife (even though they were biologically donated to me by another man), why can I not be loved equally for being a husband to more than one woman?

In the next decade or so the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos will—amid many breakaways on poverty alleviation, economic meltdown and bail-outs—surely include a session on polygamy. Because rampant slip-ups by world leaders in the bedroom happen even more often than in the boardroom, they must count for something among all the other threats to the world economy.

So, at that forum in 2019, powerful men and women of the world will sit and discuss whether the time has come not only to legalise polygamy, but also to outlaw monogamy. Judging by the recent dramatic turn of events, chairing that commission will be a South African president by any name. The chairperson of the commission and our honourable head of state will convince his or her peers and top business people that the frowning on and vilification of polygamy are a threat to stability and by extension to economic stability of countries where the leaders tend to have more than one wife or several liaisons.

Our president will argue, much to the admiration and envy of his or her international peers who have been too afraid to raise their voices on such a pertinent matter, that for as long as a leader is looked down on because he likes a 56-year-old woman the same way he is besotted with a 24-year-old, good governance will forever be compromised.

(S)he will demonstrate that good leaders are doing things in the dark clandestinely because the world judges their taste for more than one partner. Now state resources are wasted on hiding the other women in dark alleys away from the eyes of the media and doomsayers. State security is being compromised because the country refused to recognise all the first ladies equally, and therefore others are sneaked in secretly and unchecked. Before we know it the enemies of the state will be planting pretty nubile girls in the path of the head of state, using them as spies.

And when sanity has prevailed, you will not have heads of state stating in public lies such as “I did not have relations with that woman” or 24-year-olds sending radio dedications of pop songs to a sitting head of state. When the WEF, the UN and all these other policymaking bodies have accepted that men like to diversify and that women want to be loved, even by a man who loves other women, that will be the beginning of stability.

Until then we will continue to have presidents who send airtime secretly to their flames and poor women who work in the office of the president or in the government buildings being watched with suspicion, only because the president expressed his appreciation of her short skirt and the legs underneath it.

If it is allowed in a free market society to own more than one business, or to be a sleeping partner in other businesses, what is wrong with a president having more than one wife—say a first-lady wife, an office wife, and a sleeping partner?