Written by Uzor Uzoatu - Nigeria
A social commentator.
A very wise man died in Benue State not so long ago. But before I tell the details of his death, I need to state that through the man's life it has been revealed to me exclusively that the lack of wisdom in the world of today is because men marry only one wife. You can quote me on that.
Even as Islam allows men to marry up to four wives you still see a good number of my Muslim brothers sticking to the one-man-one-wife maxim. You only need to delve into the The Bible to discover that the wisest man of all time, King Solomon, had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
Without the help of a calculator I have added them all up to know that Solomon had one thousand women to service and nourish his wisdom.
That is cool by me. How can a very lonely man in the vice grip of only one wife challenge the lavish wisdom of King Solomon?
If you think Solomon is so far removed in time and place, let's make progress on the home front. In traditional culture, using Igboland where I come from as an example, a man with only one wife is never addressed as "Nna-anyi", that is, "Our father".
As a heavily-endowed Nna-anyi with a bevy of wives, one cannot but be wise when all the darlings are from all corners pleading with "our father" thusly: "Please come and eat my oha soup... Beloved, come and eat okporoko and ugba... My heart, I have hot Nkwobi for you..." If you have only one wife, you only end up with harassment thus: "Papa Obinna, I used the food money to do my hair!" Ordinarily, marriage ought to start and end with the traditional ritual of the father handing over his daughter to the groom.
No, the modern woman has added the killing dimensions of tying up the hapless man completely in the court and the church. This way, through the court registry marriage and the church wedding one woman ends up owning one man completely, leading to lack of wisdom in the land.
How can a man with only one measly love compete with King Solomon and his one thousand lovers? I can swear on Fela's shrine that it is foolishness that makes a truck-pusher to pursue a Ferrari on the highway.
Now that I have mentioned Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, that's another wise man who got married to 27 wives in one cool day. My great buddy Fela never suffered fools gladly.
There was this time that Charly Boy invited Fela to a conference on how to solve the many problems of Nigeria. Fela saw the small room that Charly Boy had chosen for the conference and burst out laughing, saying: "Na foolish man you be, you this Charly Boy! So na for this small room you want to stay to solve the mighty problems of Nigeria?
Your head no correct o!" Still laughing heartily, Fela left the place and went home to attend to his many wives. Charly Boy's problem was that he had only one wife named Diane.
Why I am writing now is to pay deserving tribute to the wise man from Benue State, mentioned at the start of this article, who was reportedly raped to death by five of his wives. According to the report, the businessman and community leader died after being raped by five of his six wives. Trust women to always waste a wise man.
The name of our man was given as Uroko Onoja, whom I would like to address as the wise Solomon of Benue State. The man was said to have partied at a bar in Ugbugbu town in Benue State until the wee hours of the morning in the month of July. Upon his return to his home in the morning, he decided to get fresh with his youngest wife.
Unfortunately for him there was a gang-up of his five other wives who were jealous. These rampaging wives barged into his master bedroom. Armed with knives and sticks, the scorned wives began attacking Onoja. The determined wives eventually forced Onoja to have sex with them as well.
The report ends tragically thus: "He had sex with four of his wives in a row. But once the fifth wife approached to have sex with Onoja, he stopped breathing and eventually died. The five wives who forced Onoja to have sex ran into the woods. Two of the women have been arrested and charged with murder and rape."
The moral of our story is that while it is indeed very wise to have many wives like King Solomon it is crucial to also be stronger than a horse in order not to die in action like the wise man from Benue State!