Four houses, four wives and ten children. It might sound a tad too complicated and strenuous for one man. But for polygamist Musa Mseleku, it is his everyday life and he's used to it.
South Africa is celebrating fathers this weekend and we chat to the reality show star about his role as a dad and what Father's Day looks like in a polygamist household.
He thinks he's slacking a bit, he tells us.
“I have 10 children and I think I am underperforming.
“A man with four wives is not supposed to have that much. He must have at least 15-20 children,” he laughs.
Musa says he takes pride in being a father. It is not overwhelming at all for him, which is why he is open to having more children.
“I have learnt to appreciate that I brought life to the world. However, being a father is an even bigger responsibility to carry, day-to-day.
“The responsibility of a father is to take care, protect and make sure you provide,” he say
As a polygamist, he says he has to pay more attention to each child, accept that children are different and learn to relate to them differently without making others feel less loved than others.
“While you raise children, you must further identify where you are not talented. If you think you master everything, you might end up making mistakes in the process especially with children – they are observant. My involvement in their lives is bigger than that of a ‘normal’ family,” Musa explains.
Family and legacy are so important to him that if he can’t be the man and father he needs to be, he risks putting his family in a comprising situation.
“Being a polygamist is a difficult thing because children are the ones who can cause damage or build a legacy so as a father you need to be in their lives and practice equality all the time when it comes to them. Comparison to the other within the family is a recipe for hatred and disaster,” Musa says.
He believes so far, he is doing a great job as a father. He sometimes hears his children advocate for the things he teaches, which to him is a nod to the principles and values he has taught them.
“I am proudest of my children when I am sitting with them and listening to how they speak about things I believe in and cherish the most. When they do that, consciously or unconsciously I then realise that I have done a great job.
“They will tell me about how they have answered other children who’ve asked questions about their ‘not so normal’ family. It is then I realise that I have planted the right seed,” Musa says with pride.
As seen on his Uthando Nes’thembu, he is traditional and strict in his parenting. There is a list of teachings he doesn’t compromise on.
“The most important being, I teach them to cherish being a family. I don’t want them thinking we live in isolation. Family comes first.
“I tell them to excel in academics or their talents. But over and above that, I always tell them that we exist because of other people. Without us having others in our lives, we would not be who we are. So, Ubuntu and respect come first,” he explains.
Musa says he knows that there some men who think they can also be polygamist based on ill-informed perspectives.
It is something that will need you to assess your ‘intellectual capacity’, he says.
“I always say to young men that they must not think what I do is easy. It involves people and a lot of emotions. And that they should not take people into their lives and suddenly make a U-turn. Be honest from the onset so that when you bring people along, they come into your life knowing that one day, you would want to take another wife.”