Baffling why women are queuing up to share Musa Mseleku

The writer asks if the women lining up for Musa Mseleku are genuinely interested in him or just attracted to his opulent lifestyle.
The writer asks if the women lining up for Musa Mseleku are genuinely interested in him or just attracted to his opulent lifestyle.
Image: Via Mzansi Magic/Twitter

I have always viewed heterosexual marriage in general as a union that only favours men and oppresses women.

That is why I was shocked to read about the scores of women who are eagerly trying to get into a polygamous marriage.

Reality TV star Musa Mseleku's team announced this week that the number of hopefuls raring to go on a group date with him, at a fee of R5,000 each, had doubled due to high demand.

The initial invitation for the "In Pursuit of Number 5" event had only called for 10 women to go on the date with Mseleku. This was sold out within hours, two weeks ago.

What was fascinating for me was what was the motivating factor for my sisters to desperately want to become a part of the Mseleku household.

Do they genuinely like the man or are they attracted to his opulent lifestyle, as seen on his show? Are they well-off ladies who are lonely to the extent that they are willing to share a husband?

I was puzzled by their interest because one of the main reasons for divorce in this country is infidelity.

According to last year's figures from Statistics South Africa, about 44% of marriages end in divorce before their 10th anniversary.

And just over 51% of the cases were initiated by women.

Although the statistics bureau does not give reasons for the break down of marriages, divorce and family law attorneys have, in several studies, cited infidelity, financial problems and loss of love as the causes, among others.

These figures mean most married women do not want to share their husbands and also prove that they [women] can stand up for themselves and were not willing to settle for less.

I have never been married but have always viewed marriage, based on tradition and religion, as an unfair contract that gives women a life of suffering that society has normalised.

Women mostly lose their voices as tradition and religion demand that they submit to their husbands as he is the "head of the family".

They are adults until they get hitched and turn into children who must be led.

No matter how educated a woman is, to her in-laws she is a glorified maid who must clean after them, and her "eldest child" known as the "husband".

Nobody ever shames the man's family for failing to train their son to be an adult who can take care of himself.

But then why are so many queuing up to share Mseleku?

I do not know Mseleku and have nothing against him but his show, Uthando Nesthembu, has shown South Africans the man is as traditional as they come.

His wives have curfews and seek permission from him to attend their friends' functions like baby showers.

So it is quite disappointing that he is the most wanted married man in South Africa in the 21st century, by middle-class women who are willing to burn R5,000 on a date.

I had always imagined our society as a progressive one with more career women being equal partners in their homes compared to 30 years ago. I pictured a society with more independent women owning their homes, rather than waiting for a husband to start a family with.

So, forgive me for failing to understand the rush to become wife number five.

I thought, as a society, we were slowly winning the gender roles debate.

I saw sisters who saw themselves as equal partners who contribute meaningfully to the running of their households; not ones who wanted to be led, with little powers over the kids in their homes.

I had hoped as we call for equality at work and society at large that was how we as women saw ourselves, as equals in all spheres of our lives.

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