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Polygamy in South Africa

            Every person is different, as are the many cultures around the world. Being married to only one spouse at a time is known, as "monogamy " is extremely common for most cultures. However the practice of monogamy is not representative for all. There are several groups in South Africa that practice polygamy "the practice whereby a person is married to more than one spouse at a time". "(Zeitzen 3) Research revealed two groups residing in South Africa the Zulu, and a small population of Muslims who practice polygamous relationships.
             The Zulu culture has practiced polygamy for decades and it has become a symbol of the male's social status as well as wealth. Interesting enough even the president of South Africa: Jacob Zuma is involved in a polygamous relationship. President Zuma has three wives and two fiances. Polygamy has been a long held tradition for the natives of this culture and continues to be upheld by a bulk of South Africans.
             South Africa is one of a few countries where polygamy is actual legal. In addition to the two groups mentioned: Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia, Iran and Libya permit polygamy as well. "Polygamy is permitted under customary law and is common in rural areas.(South Africa Society and Culture Complete Report 2010 page 9). Polygamy has gained popularity in South Africa due to the large inhabitants of Zulu people who practice this arrangement. This ethnic group is the largest made up of about 8 million people.
             The Zulu culture emerged during the 16th century. Polygamy was practiced in the form of polygyny in the Zulu community. Polygyny is a union which one man marries several wives, "when there are more women to one man that is property called polygyny "(Vallely). This marriage arrangement existed in the beginning of the Zulu culture. Many early leaders such as Shaka, Dingane, and Cetswayo were married to several wives at once. Polygamy in the Zulu culture took a blow in the 19th century when Christian missionaries from Britain preached against this marital practice.

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