Enterprising 32-year-old polygamous man with 3 wives, 13 children

Upon realising that the familiar MASAF 4 vehicle which had a stopover at Karonga Boma was heading to his village, he asked for a lift back home.

Mwaso with his senior wife Vera are already harvesting fish from the pond in the background.-Photo by Moses Nyirenda, Mana
Water canal at Kayerekela irrigation scheme.-Photo by Moses Nyirenda, Mana

He was granted. But to the surprise of everybody in the vehicle, when it was time to leave, he asked for more time to complete his shopping.

As we patiently waited for him, he was busy moving from one shop to another, buying learning materials.

Later he returned with several notebooks, pens and other learning materials, prompting us to ask who he had bought for.

“They are for my children. I have 13 children from my three wives,” said Buta Mweso, smiling.

At only 32, we thought he was joking that he had three wives and 13 children. We probed more.

“Yes, I have 13 children.

“And I am not afraid to feed them,” he said, smiling again.

Mweso, from Simon Village in Traditional Authority Kyungu in Karonga District, is an enterprising farmer who works hard to take care of his big family.

The three wives and 13 children are not the only people he takes care of; he also looks after two children of his late sister.

There are other polygamous men in Mweso’s locality and beyond with several children, but a few realise their situation to work hard and fend for their children like Mweso does.

Most heads of such families have left the responsibility of caring for children to their wives.

When communities in his area started Kayelekera Irrigation Scheme in 2005 with only 25 farmers on a meagre 1.5 hectare land, Mweso quickly joined and became a member.

The scheme became robust in 2016 when MASAF 4 came in to assist the group with pipes and cement which they used to construct a 300-metre-long water canal that supplies water into the 18-hectare irrigation field.

Upon seeing the water canal would pass by his compound, Mweso quickly thought of constructing a fish pond to take advantage of the passing water. He is now harvesting the fish, for sale and consumption.

He then started constructing a bigger fish pond, 30 m by 40 m in size but work has stalled because of lack of funds to buy cement so that he could complete it.

Mweso offered his three hectares of land to the irrigation scheme to contribute to its growth so more farmers could join and benefit from the facility.

It is such courtesy plus his commitment and dedication to farming that have earned him the title of lead farmer within the scheme.

“I wish my bigger fish pond was completed so I can assist my 18-member strong family better,” he said.

But since work on it has stalled, he has to make do with the smaller fish pond, 10 m by 10 m in size from which he has already started harvesting fish.

“I wish well-wishers assisted me with cement; I would complete the larger fish pond because I have skills of doing it,” he said.

Mweso has a number of plots in the scheme where he grows rice, maize, tomatoes and leaf vegetables.

“We now have plans to expand the irrigation scheme to 25 hectares so that more farmers join,” says Mweso whose father died when he was only six and got married when he was 18.

As if to copy from Mweso’s idea, the expanded scheme would also include a dam where the group intends to start fish farming.

Mweso’s wives have not left the burden of caring for children to their husband. All of them are members of the irrigation scheme and have plots where they grow different crops for consumption and sale.

His most senior wife, 29-year-old Vera Mtambo who has five children, said she grows rice, maize tomatoes and various leaf vegetables. Her co-wives do the same, just to ensure they look after the children well.

Meanwhile, Mpata Extension Planning Area Agriculture Extension Development Officer Peace Kapira says he often monitors the farming activities at the scheme and crop fields belonging to individual farmers.

He says his office has endorsed the farmers’ idea to expand the irrigation scheme.

“I monitor their activities at least three times a week to see how irrigation activities progress. They now want to expand the scheme to 25 hectares from the current 18-hectare land,” says Kapira.

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Kholowa
Kholowa
8 months ago

As long as he can provide for them all no problem!

Kaisi wa ku Mangochi
8 months ago

Za ku mpoto izi. Three wives with 13 children. Tikanakhala ife bwenzi Atumbuka akujama apa.

idiot
idiot
8 months ago

i don’t understand why we hate polygamy and allow gay people

Mwe'ene
Mwe'ene
8 months ago

Do we really want to promote and celebrate polygamy in this country? With its associated real and opportunity costs to the spouses, children and society at large?
In 2020 abale?

Nyoloka
Nyoloka
8 months ago

Too many Births is a disgrace to a society…. he can’t learn that he is also keeping his sisters children, where are the sisters…. where are the husband of those sisters kumpoto timalowola, at what age did he marry, first wife is a young woman with five children if allowable marriage age is 18 then 5 children in 11 years is a horror movie, and yet in between he has other children with other wives again… SHAME, are you trying to say if he had a few he was not going to work that harder?…… Show us his home, his… Read more »

Atate
Atate
8 months ago

I was waiting to see the types of comments on this story. This story has taught me something about Nyasatimes readeship. If this guy were to come from the south..we could have seen the abuse of –alomwe: “Zimene amadziwa ndizomwezo”. You can finish the next part of my statement ….

GRM
GRM
8 months ago

This is the attitude that is pulling Malawi back. How hard we can work and how enterprising we are, if we do not check the population growth we will be like this young man. Poor and asking for donations.

Nanda
8 months ago
Reply to  GRM

Exactly. How can someone ask for donation when he claims to manage his family. What a selfish man he is. He doesnt care about HIV and increase in population. It is such people who have contributed to Malawi being a poor country. Shame.

Frank
Frank
8 months ago

Call him a selfish, egoistic and libidinous man until the virus (HIV) kills him that is when he will know.

nachisale
nachisale
8 months ago

Enterprising man who is pushing Malawi backwards. FOOLISH.

Phiri
Phiri
8 months ago

Polygamy is a stupid and backward tradition. When I see stories glorified in Nyasa Times and other newspapers, I despair. I realise why we Malawians and Africans will remain poor people. How is this man going to be able to provide the best education, clothes, shelter and good health care to 13 children? Does he and the wives have enough time to support all the children so that they can do well in education. Europeans realised long time ago that having more than 1 wife is detrimental to an individual, family and national development. In the Arab world, they have… Read more »

Ndineyo
Ndineyo
8 months ago
Reply to  Phiri

I think you need to read the article again

Nanda
8 months ago
Reply to  Phiri

Very true. A woman in polygamy will have extra marital affair thereby attracting HIV and other STI’s. Polygamy is indeed a backward tradition.

Joni
Joni
8 months ago
Reply to  Phiri

Bola mitala than chisembwere ……..a lot of you commenting here about this man you have hidden mistresses and ‘husbands’ and bastards….munathawa…so which is which?

How clean are you?

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