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Meet the six famous polygamist leaders Africa has ever had

May 11, 2019 at 01:00 pm | Culture

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Head of Content

May 11, 2019 at 01:00 pm | Culture

King Mswati III with his wives and children at a Summit in India

King Mswati III (Eswatini/ Swaziland)

King Mswati III is Africa’s last absolute monarch who rules Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, as its King.

The 50-year-old is a polygamist and has married 14 wives. He has divorced three of them and has 24 children.

Senteni Masango, his eighth wife, is reported to have committed suicide in April after overdosing on amitriptyline, a drug used in treating chronic pain and depression and related disorders.

King Mswati III married his latest wife, 19-year-old Siphele Mashwama, a few weeks after last year’s annual Umhlanga or Reed Dance ceremony participated by about 40,000 maidens.

He is traditionally mandated to pick a new wife every year from the virgins who partake in the traditional chastity rite held at the Ludzidzini Royal palace near Swaziland’s capital Mbabane.

Mswati became the Crown Prince in 1983 and then in 1986, he was crowned King at the age of 18. He succeeded his father King Sobhuza II who married 70 wives and had 210 children.

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