A Ugandan woman’s rare feat has generated interest on social media with opinions split on its appropriateness. Ann Grace Aguti, 36, married three men – Richard Alich, John Peter Oluka and Michael Enyaku – at the same time with all the men sharing the same compound. On how Aguti met her man-loves, Alich, a retired police officer with 10 grown-up children noted he met her when she was returning home from Brac Uganda, Ngora branch, where she had gone to process a loan.
“Her bicycle had developed a mechanical problem, so I offered to repair it. In the process, one thing led to another and I found myself here. I stay in that hut,” Alich submitted.
“I met her at a swamp where I was grazing my cows and joked about her taking me on as a husband too – and that was it. She allocated me a hut. We have lived harmoniously for close to a year now. I have no problem with my co-husbands. The consensus among us is that mummy (Aguti) determines the duty (sex) roster and her decision is final,” Oluka said.
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Aguti’s taking on multiple sex partners has incurred the ire of some people, not least her father Pastor Peter Ogwang. Local newspaper, New Vision reported the incensed father mobilised family members to evict the husbands of his daughter on the compound.
There’s some good news, however, as Aguti, a mother of three, from the Ngora district is reported to be six months pregnant, but it’s unclear if a father will claim the child or the baby will belong to all three men.
Curiously the radical woman who earns a living selling cooked cow trotters used to have more men lovers but booted some out for breaking set rules including one who attempted slitting her throat with a sickle. The three husbands have huts allocated to each of them from the seven huts on the family compound. The land, Aguti says, was given to her by her father after her first failed marriage to settle and start life afresh.
Rebuffing her father’s attempt to evict two of the husbands so she stays with one, Aguti stated: “I was married before in a manner my clan wants but my desire is to have a tender loving husband, who can provide all my needs as a housewife. My husband was useless and I remained the breadwinner. When I left him, I started looking for that special someone, but I have not yet found him because even now, I have to feed the men that I have. So, my search continues!”
Something of an activist also, Aguti says she wants to break the tradition where a man is entitled to two or more wives, but a woman is not allowed to do same.
It does appear Aguti will live with her husbands till a man emerges with the deep pocket to bear financial responsibility for her upkeep whereupon she might divorce the others for that golden man.
With Aguti’s father demanding the eviction of the men as he claims he is unaware of their marriage, the local council and clan ruled that each of the men return to their respective villages only to return officially with identification and introduce themselves to the local authorities at Amugagara.
Upon that statement, Aguti wailed: “My dear husbands, I love you so much. I am not the one chasing you, but your father-in-law and his clan. Please do not forget me wherever you go. You have been my pillars in this large home of ours. Please keep checking on me because I may die of loneliness in the house.”
Curious as Aguti’s move is, it’s nothing new. Polyandry is a form of polygamy in which a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time. Polyandry is contrasted with polygyny, involving one male and two or more females.
It is practiced in various societies in India, such as Rajasthan, Ladakh and Zanskar, in the Jaunsar-Bawar region in Uttarakhand, among the Toda of South India.
It is practiced also in Nigeria among the Nymba, pre-contact Polynesian societies, Mosuo people in China and among the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania. In Uganda, polygamy is legal.