He was a tall, skinny , dark man. He came from money but decided to leave it all behind and establish himself in our village. When he arrived there was nothing, just 2 small shops and poverty. The first thing he did was get himself a small 1 bedroom house and a 2 taxis. He worked as a taxi owner/driver.
The next thing he got himself were four beautiful young wives. He already had wives but needed more. My grandmother always tells the story of how they met with such fondness. She was 17 when they met and he was well over 40, and she was already promised to someone else but left him. She says she couldn’t resist the guy riding a bicycle when her lover didn’t even have a donkey. He would come riding his bicycle to take her to his one bedroom house with 3 other women. Obviously it wasn’t just his bicycle, he gave her money and did things in bed no man could ever do ! My grandmother found out she was pregnant with my dad two months after dating. The dowry was paid and she had to move into the one bedroom house with the other wives.
They bonded with the other women soon becoming friends. If he wanted to sleep with my grandmother that night, the other women would take care of my dad and she would do the same for them. The cycle was simple, he sleeps with whoever he wants to sleep with whenever he wanted, the mandate-be ready. He would have sex 3 times a day, morning, afternoon and night. One time he sent my grandmother home because she had become cold and didn’t enjoy having sex with her. The horror!!! “So what did you do grandmother?” She told me she was home for six months and had to go to a herbalist daily to get her groove back. So when it was over she went back to the one bedroom house. Had more children and my grandfather built a bigger house.
Each of them had their rooms and a living room. One day my grandfather came home with another young girlfriend. All the wives decided no more and took out machetes and chased the poor woman away. Instead of apologizing my grandfather swore at them and left with the young woman. Days later he came home and told them he had a new wife. You see this polygamy wasn’t for them but him. He told them straight up “if you think you can find what I give you elsewhere, leave” Two of them left but my grandmother stayed. As it turns she not only loved my grandfather, he was her friend. Crazy as it sounds, she never left. My grandfather had more other wives and girlfriends. My grandparents would gossip and laugh about his sexcapades. She says he always kissed and tell, and would praise himself for being the best lover in the world! Obviously to my inexperienced gran he probably was.
At the time of his passing, he had a fleet of 20 taxis, 10 plus women and 29 children. The village had improved, he had monopolized the taxi industry and made sure all his women and children would be taken care of. Everyone knew him or of him. Some beloved he was a witch doctor who had acquired his riches by sacrificing people, others thought he was a violent man who could beat up anyone at no moments notice, others didn’t understand what was so special about him cause he was ugly. To the women though…. He was the man they wished their husbands could be!!!
He has been gone for 20 years, my grandmother is still at home in the house her husband built her. Attempts to relocate her have failed, dismally. The answer is always the same “when my husband comes for me, where will he think I am?”Every year on his birthday, she buys a cake and tells stories of the man who owned her heart.
Sadly I never got to meet him.