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King With 100 Wives? Cameroon Royal Inherited 72 of Them From Father

By    |   Thursday, 18 Jun 2015 08:37 AM

King Abumbi II, the 11th king of Bafut, Cameroon, has nearly 100 wives and 500 children, though he inherited 72 of his spouses and most of the children from his late father, Ancentus Akuku.

In Bafut, polygamy is not only legal, but it is customary for a king’s successor to inherit all of his wives in addition to marrying his own queens.

“Our tradition has it that when you are king, the elderly wives remain to hand down the tradition to the younger wives, and also to teach the king the tradition because the king had been a prince, not a king,” Queen Constance, King Abumbi’s third wife, told CNN.

The wives, especially the older ones, are there to help the younger king and his wives rule.

"Behind every successful man must be a very successful, staunch woman," Queen Constance said, adding that all of the king's wives are educated and speak multiple languages.

Bafut is the largest fondom, or kingdom, in Cameroon and King Abumbi has ruled for 47 years. The king insists that although he is maintaining his heritage’s polygamous traditions, he also aims to embrace modernity.

“There is this constant conflict between the traditional values and modern western values,” he told CNN. “My role is to blend them, to find the way forward so my subjects can enjoy the fruits of development and modernity without destroying their culture."

Akuku, King Abumbi’s father, was known as "Danger Akuku" because of his tendency to so easily attract woman, according to ABC News. He reportedly insisted on naming all of his children so that he had a greater connection to them. He also had to open up two schools to educate only his progeny.

Some feel that Cameroon has changed since Akuku’s reign when he was able to rule with so many wives.

"Personally, I would never be married to a man who has another wife let alone 100 more. Those women were clearly different. Try having an Akuku at this day and age, the women would kill one another,” Linet Wambui, a Nairobi saleswoman, told ABC News.

Data also shows that polygamy in Africa is decreasing. This is likely an outcome of the prevalence of Christianity and Western values in African culture in recent years.

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King Abumbi II, the 11th king of Bafut, Cameroon, has nearly 100 wives and 500 children, though he inherited 72 of his spouses and most of the children from his late father, Ancentus Akuku.
king, with, 100, wives, cameroon, polygamy
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2015-37-18
Thursday, 18 Jun 2015 08:37 AM
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