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Chiweshe man wants 100 children

Born 41 years ago in Chatikobo village, Masvingo province, Tarwireyi has already sired 45 children with 14 young wives.

And he says he won’t be slowing down until he gets to 100 children.

Most of his wives are below 30 years of age and some are as young as 18.

All of them claim they will do everything to stay in what could be one of Zimbabwe’s largest polygamous set ups.

To keep his family happy, Tarwireyi among other things has to ensure that he buys a tonne of maize meal and US$500 worth of groceries a month, a feat an ordinary Zimbabwean husband will struggle to match.

Intrigued by this story, The Standard tracked Tarwireyi’s family to his homestead in Badzarigere village in Chiweshe Communal lands, 100km outside Harare.

Tarwireyi’s homestead has 10 thatched huts, a one-room asbestos-roofed house and a Blair toilet. The house serves as the husband’s bedroom where the wives take turns to spend quality time with him. Two wives share a hut each with their children. Each hut serves as both a bedroom and kitchen.
The soft-spoken Tarwireyi said for now he had stopped marrying more wives as he was satisfied with the 14.

He claimed that although he is from the Johanne Marange church, he had not married many wives because of religion.

“I believe I took after my grandfather who had 18 wives and 270 children. My grandfather was not a Christian,” he said. “For now I have stopped marrying more wives, I have to do things that I know I am able to handle and be happy with.”

But during the interview it was clear that he is no longer able to cope with some aspects of his lifestyle.  Tarwireyi could not remember when he married his last wife or how many children he has sired so far.

He keeps the record in a book back in Chiweshe that also contains the rules that his family must live by.

“The rules in my book are on how to live harmoniously with other wives and how to express one’s grievances. They are strictly adhered to,” Tarwireyi said. “I am the one who deals with all the family’s grievances.Among other rules, no other wife has to beat up or insult another wife and the same applies to me. I don’t beat up any of my wives but we sit down and find ways to solve our problems.”

His biggest dream is to sire another 55 children in the next five years to take the number to 100.

“I have since stopped marrying more wives but as for having children I won’t stop. My wives will keep on having some more. The way I see it, in five years’ time I will be having 100 children.”

Although the age of his firstborn child could not be established, it said he was already married and the youngest five were around one year two months old.

Some of the wives are pregnant.


Tarwireyi is Mr Macho, say his wives

Only three of his wives were at home as nine others had gone to sell vegetables in the village. The other two were in Harare taking care of Tarwireyi.
Most of their neighbours might be wondering how Tarwireyi manages to satisfy the 14 young women so that they do not stray. However, it was the question all the three appeared very eager to answer.

Vaida, who is considered wife number two, explained that their husband who works in Harare usually visits the village from Friday evening to Monday morning.

The wives also take turns to visit him in Harare where they have to go in pairs.

“We have no problem at all with our husband,” Vaida said. “If you see him you will realise that we are not lying. Our husband is a true man in every sense.

“Sometimes when we are not on our menstrual cycle or trying to avoid conceiving since we are from the Johanne Marange church, in one night he can sleep with between three and six of us. So don’t feel pity for us, we are well-catered for my sister.”

The Johanne Marange sect, which allows men to marry as many wives as they wish, discourages women from using contraceptives.

Sarah, who is wife number 10 and is yet to bear any children with Tarwireyi, claimed their husband can even sleep with all his wives in the three nights he would have spent in the village.

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