"It was a matter of negotiations, really," he said of how he managed to get the women to agree to wed him all at once. "I don't know what the future holds for me with them, but I am very excited about this, not just because it hasn't been done before, but because I believe in it."
His brides, Smangele Cele, Thobile Vilakazi, Zanele Langa and Happiness Mdlolo, will share the stage in a wedding that has courted controversy and excitement alike.The festivities, which will cost Mbele R100 000, will be held in Weenen and the traditional ceremony at nearby Nhlawe.Mbele said he had thought about marrying just one wife 10 years ago, but later came to the realisation that he might be "tempted" to take more.
"I initially thought of just two wives," he said frankly. "But then I met the third wife and decided instead of marrying them one by one it would make sense to cut costs, so in 2005 I told each of them about taking four wives all at once."It would take another four years, though, to finalise the finer details of the plan.Although Mbele agrees his marriage to his four sweethearts - aged between 22 and 35 - is rather unusual, he doesn't see anything wrong with it."This is my tradition and it can't be wrong," he explained."I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I have had sleepless nights preparing for this. It wasn't so difficult convincing all the wives to agree to it... each knew of the others in my life."But Mbele is aware that having four wives under one roof might be a headache, so he's going to put them up in their own homes to avoid conflict. And, asked how he intends handling the competition among them for his attentions, he would only say: "I will cross that bridge when I get there"."You know... like a lizard if you cut its tail... wherever it points to that's where I will be going depending on the mood. I will accommodate all of them, though, as I have already in the past few years."
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