Twins Owami and Olwethu ono the lessons they learnt when they married the same man
FOR a while they had a happy union – even though there were three of them in the marriage. Sisters Owami and Olwethu became the talk of the town when they wed the same man.
But for the twins there was nothing unusual about sharing a bed with their dream guy. After all, they’d always done everything together, like sharing a plate of food. So, it felt natural to tie the knot with Mzu Mzazi. The sisters fell pregnant around the same time too – but it wasn’t long before their marriage started to fall apart. They say Mzu, a well-known TV director they met when they auditioned for Muvhango, would remind them he gave them a roof over their heads.
Owami and Olwethu (30) claim they were emotionally and physically abused by their husband. They’d been living in fear and in November things reached boiling point. “He poured diesel all over the house and threatened to burn the house down and kill us in the process. The children were screaming, everyone was scared,” Owami says.
“During his rage, he couldn’t find matches – that’s how we survived.”
A QUICK ROMANCE
When they met Mzu they wanted to be actors. “We wanted him to mentor us. We wanted to be on TV.” Olwethu says they shared this with Mzu in a private meeting after they auditioned for a role in Muvhango, where he was working as a director at the time.
“We also told him we were virgins, we had never been with a man and intended to keep it that way,” Owwami adds. “He saw an opportunity when we told him we want to get married to the same man and we thought, ‘sometimes in life you must take a risk to get some where in life’. “We agreed to date him but made it clear we would not sleep with him until he introduced himself to our family.”
Within weeks, Mzu wrote a letter to their grandmother, Elizabeth SIko, who had raised them. He paid lobola and a wedding ceremony was held. At the time he was 46 and the girls were 21.
SECRETS AND LIES
After they were married, they discovered shocking information. Mzu lied to them when he said he had legally separated from his wife of 21 years, they claim. “We also found out he had 11 children with different women and not one child like he had told us.” The secrets led to ugly fights.““He lost his job during that time. We moved into a room at his family
home in Soweto. When he had nothing, we all sle pt on one bed.” When Mzu got back onto his feet they moved to a three- bedroom house in Roodeport. The sisters say he accused them of not appreciating his good deeds and reminded them he had taken them out of poverty. They grew up poor with their gogo in Vosloorus, they admit, but living with the TV director for nine years was far from glamourous.
“I went into the delivery room with a Muvhango t-shirt and no shoes,” Owaami says.
The twins are opening up because they want women to learn from their experience. “We’ve learnt not to put our trust and destiny inn the hands of a man,” Olwethu says.
When we called MMzu for comment he referred Move! to his lawyer, Thato Mahapa of TM Mahhapa Attorneys. “The last few months of the relationship were marked by a tough period for the couple with regrettable things said by both parties,”’ Thatho says.
“Our client denies he has been physically or emotionally abusive,” he adds.
Olwethu and Owami want to put the past behind them. They say they wanted to leave sooner. “We were afraid of the unknown. We would ask ourselves‘ who was going to help us raise these children?’ We grew up without a father and did not want the same for our children,” Olwethu says.
The women now work as fitness instructors and motivational speakers. They want their daughters to think about who they marry one day.
“We got into something we didn’t understand. We married a man we didn’t know,” Owami says. “We wanted to be loved and accepted. We didn’t know much about relationships. Now we’re grown women and know what we want.”