Did you see that picture in the Mail and Guardian of our Prez. JZ and his latest fiancé, soon to be newest spouse? What a lovely couple.
You know, personally, I don’t have a problem with our president marrying numerous women. I know that my view isn’t popular in this world of elusive egalitarianism. I know that many think that polygamy is demeaning to women and backward. I understand that sentiment. After all it’s the 21st Century and etcetera. Yes.
Polygamy is permitted in South African law and it is Zulu tradition and the man is a Zulu man bound, perhaps not in all things, but for the most part bound by South African law. It’s not as though he clubs them over the head and drags them to a cave. And he does need a wife who is ‘presidential’. I mean, look, Ma Kumalo we all love. We love her because she has been there for so long, and the details of that so long we do not ask, because we respect her. Neither do we discuss his other marriages to women of a certain age be they diseased or divorced, because it is not the African way to discuss these things, and evidently they are painful things and they are things that happened a good while before Prez. JZ became the Prez and they are personal things and so we leave those alone.
However, since Prez JZ became the Prez; our Prez, it has become a permissible and entertaining diversion to discuss the merits and demerits of each Mrs Zuma and to speculate about the logistics of having so many demanding young women to satisfy. There must be seething jealousy and envy between MaNtuli and MaMadiba, I mean did you see them jostling for position at the inauguration?
Yikes! There was Ma Madiba trying to jostle Ma Kumalo out of the way and for the whole world to see. Scandalous, disgraceful behaviour! One can only speculate at what goes on behind closed doors. In fact, one wonders how much time the wives spend behind the same closed door. Ma Ntuli must have been beside herself when Ma Madiba got to go to England to meet the Queen and enjoy all that pomp and circumstance. I mean why her? And was this before or after the calamitous news that she had been bonking the bodyguard?
Anyway, now we have the lovely and elegant and educated Gloria Bongi Ngema who has the essential and heretofore missing in presidential spouse qualities of fashion sense, brains, beauty and gainful employment. Who held her own with Mrs Obama and Mrs Sarkozy and who didn’t embarrass the nation with her ignorance of etiquette or protocol and who we wish we could have sent to Buckingham Palace to represent us, but that is milk that is already spilt, so we won’t cry over it.
We have a President who, if he plans to stay President, and we fear and dread that he does, will need a wife and travelling companion with sophistication and worldliness who knows how to dress herself and comport herself and hold a conversation and steer a conversation and MaNgema seems to have those qualities. She’s done well so far.
If JZ is not to follow Zulu tradition, the traditions of his forefathers whose tradition is he to follow? Is it wrong of him to reject the tradition of the missionary and the coloniser in favour of his own? I don’t think so. I admire him for standing by his Zulu culture and custom.
Is more acceptable to have numerous affairs than numerous wives? Besides, traditional men don’t get married for fidelity. How are you going to find your next wife if you close the door behind the latest wife? It wouldn’t make sense. Dalliance is a very necessary part of the polygamous vinculum matrimonii.
I could marry JZ and get on the roster of time spent with him. I understand he’s a very nice man. I could do my time in Nkandla paying homage to MaKumalo. I could travel to Paris Fashion week to buy frocks. He wouldn’t have to come. He can go to Davos or wherever presidents are caucusing with MaNgema, because she’s good at that stuff. I could get me some Gupta assistance and tenders galore and I would be much more discreet about hanky-pankying with the help. I mean, if you know how to play it, it must be a pretty nice life. The seas part for you, I’m sure.
I hope the happy couple continue to be very happy. Can you say ‘couple’ when there are five of you? Anyway I hope they continue to be extremely happy, honestly and sincerely