He is being called ‘Ghana’s King Solomon’. Believed to be having Ghana’s largest family — 47 wives with around 240 children — the man, simply identified as Nana, has even lost count of the exact number of children he has largely because the family does not count female children.
He is a chief in Tenzuku, a village near Talensi in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It takes not less than 13 hours to arrive in the village from the capital, Accra, according to Kofi Adomah, a journalist who spoke with the man about his huge family size.
Right after Adomah and his Kofi TV crew arrived at the village, a man believed to be the village town crier climbed atop one of the houses to announce their presence, calling on everyone to come out and meet them. A man in the village who spoke on behalf of the chief told Adomah that the chief has about 47 wives. The wives have collectively given birth to around 240 children, he said, explaining that the female children are not counted because once they get married, they leave to be with their husbands.
All the wives and children live together in harmony and there are no differences within the family, according to the spokesperson. Each wife knows when it’s her time to be with her husband. “Each wife is entitled to three days, and we follow that roster religiously because we sat down and planned it together,” the senior wife said. At the moment, some of the chief’s children are married and have also established their own families.
Residents of the village do worship a god called Nana Tongor that protects all of them while helping them with their needs. To date, people seeking political office in the community visit the chief to seek his blessings while hoping to get his support. His large family size is a plus, locals said.
Polygamy is not uncommon in Ghana and other African countries. In most countries on the continent, polygamy has long been practiced in rural areas, where it has deep cultural roots. Men with many wives were seen as wealthy or strong in the bedroom. Interestingly, polygamy is becoming more common in urban areas as well. Women are choosing to become second wives for various reasons including financial stability, love, among others.
In Zimbabwe, a man who has 151 children and 16 wives sleeps with four of his 16 wives a night to keep having more offspring. 66-year-old Misheck Nyandoro recently said in an interview that his full-time job is satisfying his 16 wives to produce more offspring. He has no plans of stopping as he is about to marry his 17th wife as part of a “polygamy project” he started in the 1980s.
Last year in Angola, Pai Grande, a polygamist who fathered 281 children with 49 wives, was laid to rest. In Kenya, a man known as Acentus Akuku married 130 times with nearly 200 children.