South African President Jacob Zuma, who won his presidential seat in 2009, married his longtime fiancee in a private ceremony at his rural home, making her one of his four current wives. Zuma, 70, tied the knot with Bongi Ngema in a traditional ceremony Friday in the town of Nkandla. It is the sixth marriage overall for the polygamous president. One wives died while another one divorced him.
The president practices the Zulu tradition, which allows polygamy. While legal in South Africa, polygamy is losing popularity with the younger generation in the continent, where it is still practiced in some cultures. Zuma who has 21 children embraces his culture, said Mac Maharaj, a government spokesman.
One of the challenges we have in this world is that some communities are looked down as inferior and there’s a major struggle to assert our culture. You don’t have to be ashamed of your culture provided you don’t intrude on other people’s fundamental rights.
The bridal party took part in a celebratory dance after the traditional Zulu wedding that included the president’s three other wives. Ngema, an activist, dated the president for years and they have a 7-year-old son together. He is also married to Sizakele Zuma, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma and Tobeka Madiba-Zuma.