Africa is a magical continent with a diverse class of people. Many stories emanate from this continent that can be regarded as too strange to be true. The case if the female husbands of Kenya forms one of the strange but true story originating from Africa.
It came about as a weird cultural practice of the Nandi people, who are a sub-tribe of the Kalenjin group of people in Kenya. This is not the typical lesbian couple but a woman who marries another because of one or two reasons and lesbianism must be the last idea in their minds.
Reasons for woman to woman marriage
Woman to woman marriage in Kenya may be as a result of stigmatization. A man chases away his wife for several reasons best known to him, the most common one being barrenness. Then for lack of another suitor to settle with her, the woman seeks another woman she can marry and bear her children.
Seeking a suitor
This is akin to just any other courting that single men and women engage in. this stigmatized woman goes out of her way to look for another woman to be her suitor. They woo them and even have the audacity to visit their families for dowry negotiation. When the other family accepts this dowry, they are now free to live as a couple, yes, and a women-only couple which isn’t the conventional lesbian one.
Now this is where the interesting part comes in; the woman considered the ‘wife’ in this weird union is allowed to bear children with another man. In some situations, the ‘husband’ in this union arranges secretly to have their ‘wives’ sleep with some men who will help her conceive. The offspring will then be regarded as the two women’s kids for life, with the ‘husband’ acting as the social and legal father of the kids.’
Stories are told of a woman in Uasin Gishu county in the Rift Valley region of Kenya who was in a woman-woman marriage, and not only to a single woman but to four of them! I know it cannot get stranger than that, but this union is as polygamous as the heterosexual polygamist unions too.
This particular case was of an elderly woman who had her marriage to her initial husband fall apart as she was barren. Her 10-year marriage could not hold together after it was clear she could not give birth. Her husband chased her away, and she could not handle the stigmatization from the locals and community in general. She moved to a neighboring county where such unions happen and she found a home there.
This union has had its fair share of challenges too. There is competition from other men who eye her ‘wives’, and this woman has already lost two ‘wives’ to men who eloped with them, never to be seen again. The first two ‘wives’ sired two children each for her but they ran off with the men who helped them get pregnant.
This woman leaves all house chores for her two remaining ‘wives’ to handle as she exercises her ‘husband’ roles in the family like providing for food from her livestock.
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