‘Mnakwethu’ slammed for positi

Well-known polygamist Musa Mseleku with his four wives. Photo: Supplied

‘Mnakwethu’ slammed for positive portrayal of cheating polygamists

Hosted by popular polygamist Musa Mseleku, Mzansi Magic’s ‘Mnakwethu‘ has been at the receiving end of some serious backlash.

‘Mnakwethu’ slammed for positi

Well-known polygamist Musa Mseleku with his four wives. Photo: Supplied

According to Mzansi Magic’s website, Mnakwethu “is emotional, and an empowering reality show that gives married men a chance to overpower the fear of introducing polygamy to his current wife/s.”

Presenter Musa Mseleku has four wives and let the public in on the inner workings of his relationships with his partners in a reality show that aired from 2017 to 2019, titled “Isthembu“.

Outrage at ‘cheating husbands’ wanting to make it official

Mnakwethu is modelled on the premise that Mseleku will provide guidance to men who want to start practising polygamy by having Mseleku mediate between the first wife, the husband and the new wife who is being introduced. It airs on Saturdays at 17:30 pm. 

However, after the first episode aired, Mnakwethu began receiving unfavourable reviews on social media. In two episodes, the husbands had been cheating on their wives with their prospective brides and wanted to make their unions with their mistresses official. 

First wife vs second wife

In last week episode, viewers met MaKhumalo a mother of two who was dealing with the death of her firstborn child. She was still grieving her daughter and barely a year after her passing, her husband, Ngiga, told Mseleku that he wanted to make his girlfriend of eight years, MaSithole, his second wife. 

They had met when she was 21 and because of his first marriage and his move to KwaZulu-Natal, the couple couldn’t make their romance official. MaSithole was accepting of Ngiga’s first wife and said she looked forward to building a household with her. 

MaKhumalo, on the other hand, was not impressed and told her husband that though she accepted the new wife, she had nothing to say to her.

MaSithole commented that she was unfazed by the hostile reception and was happy that her husband-to-be was excited about their upcoming traditional nuptials. 

‘Isibaya’ actress Ayanda Borotho weighs in on polygamy

The show prompted Isibaya actress Ayanda Borotho to share her views on the programme. 

“Nothing is more oppressive to women than the pressure of “wanting to be someone’s wife/main woman” and the false validation that it brings. I absolutely respect marriage. And there’s nothing wrong with marriage except the narratives WE give it! We are out here trying be the main one instead of the ONLY one,” she wrote. 

She uploaded four IGTV videos and slammed how Mnakwethu had portrayed polygamy, stating it had made a mockery of the cultural practice. 

Polygamy ‘created for womem’

“Polygamy was created for women and not for men to do as they please. In old times, women acknowledged that they couldn’t do everything in the house (rearing kids, cooking etc) and in order to protect the family and strengthen it, they would recommend bringing another woman into the household so that she could help run it. 

“This was a woman’s prerogative and not the man’s. What we are seeing on TV is a lie. It was never part of our culture for men to cheat with multiple women and then tell his wife that he wants to marry her,” Borotho said in the video. 

“Another thing, the second wives would be chosen by the first wife and she absolutely had to agree and recommend polygamy to her husband.”

She ended her latest video by questioning why women were comfortable with destroying another woman’s household. 

“We have to ask ourselves why we see nothing wrong with that. My aim with these videos wasn’t to address polygamy, but to speak to women about how we treat each other. The way a woman views herself is how she will treat another woman,” said Borotho. 

More celebs speak out: ‘Patriarchy dressed in culture’

Celebrities who have share Borotho’s sentiments about the show, include singer Brenda Mntambo, actress Phumeza Mdabe, Isibaya actress Jessica Nkosi and former Our Perfect Wedding host Kayise Nqula.

“This is so powerful, the women are saying no! We cannot accept patriarchy dressed in culture. Never!,” commented Mntambo.  

On Twitter, the show and the men it has featured, have garnered a slew of negative criticism. Mzansi Magic has yet to respond to the backlash that the show is receiving.