My friends call me a ‘strong man’,” 48-year-old furniture maker, Wasiu Bayeju, said with a grin. Sitting with a soiled singlet in front of his workshop in Agege area of Lagos, the man spotting a pot-belly, that many could easily conclude to be a beer gut, is far from being an epitome of masculinity. But the fact that Bayeju has two wives under his roof qualifies him as a ‘strong man’ in the eyes of his peers.
“They say the fact that I have two wives in a hard time like this means I am strong financially,” Bayeju said, as he grinned the more. That description summed up many of the assumptions about polygamous men in Nigeria. Assumption about their financial status and their sex lives are two of the “wars” men like Bayeju have had to constantly fight.
“It feels like war, many times,” he said. But at this point, his grin had metamorphosed into a grim expression that speaks of the turmoil that the man was battling with. He regarded our correspondent with suspicion and asked again why he was being interviewed about sex in polygamous marriage.
But now, Bayeju no longer grinned. He shook his head as if in self-derision when he was asked to explain what polygamous men like him go through in fulfilling their sexual duties to their wives without making the women feel cheated. Read more