Meet Meru’s ‘Akuku Danger’ with 17 wives, 31 children and expects to marry more

Robert Kathata, 36, from Maili Tatu area in Igembe Central Constituency in Meru County has 17 wives and 31 children.

Mr Kathata says he inherited the tradition of polygamy from his father who had more wives than him.

Below is his narration:

“I married when I was 18 years old. Our culture allows for polygamy – and I have inherited the tradition from my father. I am proud to manage many wives and make sure all my children go to school. I am a living testimony that a man can keep many wives peacefully.”

“I stay for two weeks at one woman’s home and move on to the next for the same period – and the cycle continues.”

“I talk to them (wives) every day and counsel them how they can live in harmony. I would always like to balance them in a proper way so that they don’t embarrass me in one way or the other.”

“I have constructed a house for each of my wives so that they become comfortable. 14 of my wives come from Meru region and the other three come from Marsabit, Nairobi and Nyeri.”

“I have 31 children and I am still expecting to have more as tradition demands. I must follow in the footsteps of my father. I am going to marry more wives so that I can match up with my father.”

Wives speak out

Purity Kinya


“My name is Purity Kinya. I have borne two children for Robert. I am the 17th and the last wife. I am very happy because my husband caters to all my needs – I get everything I want from him. He takes care of our kids very well.”

“If he wishes to increase the number of wives to 30, I have no problem because he manages us very well. We, the co-wives, live very peacefully and we even seek advice and help from one another. We all dine on the same table.”

Lucy Nkatha


“My name is Lucy Nkatha. I am the fourth wife. I got married to Robert in 1999. I have borne two children for my husband. Both children have completed education.”

“Every month, we hold a get-together and get to familiarize ourselves with each other. When our relatives visit, the co-wives help in preparations. Even if he (Mr Kathata) wishes to add more wives to the number he has, we as the wives have no problem with that because he takes good care of us.”

“He buys us clothes, none of my children has ever been sent home for school fees and I have never lacked salon money. I advice women who have come of age to consider marriage because the institution is very good. You eat and drink at your husband’s place.”

Winfred Kinya


“My name is Winfred Kinya. I got married to my husband when I was 16. I have borne two children for him. I am happily married to my husband because he takes good care of me. He can add other women if he wishes.”

Grace Kawira


“My name is Grace Kawira. I am the first wife of Robert. We have three children together. I was married in 1997. I feel good when we are many wives because doing of house chores becomes easy. I am very happy. Robert should not add any more wives because the cost of living is increasing by the day.”


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