Hawu! Relationships have become time-shares!

a happy couple [source: Google]

A recent perusal of updates from my facebook feed asserted that in these cash-strapped and love-scarce times, a contemporary polyamory is becoming the desired option.

I live in a country where polygyny is still a favoured traditional path, and where there’s more awareness of Islamic tradition than there used to be. So there’s a context for polyamory, the practice of having more than one ongoing love relationship.

One friend recounted a conversation wherein another friend was lamenting that she couldn’t pay the monthly bills: “that’s because you only have one boyfriend, girl,” she said. “You need a back-up these days.” Another friend was castigating her friend for dumping a boyfriend simply because he found out about her back-up.

On the other hand, you’re not a man these days if you don’t have at least two baby-mamas: “It’s tough running two jobs these days. But when you’ve got three baby mamas, it’s a man’s job to provide the cash.”

ladies need ‘back-up’ boyfriends and men need more than one ‘baby-mama’

You might think these are extreme examples, but they aren’t; they exemplify growing trends.

Here in Swaziland a recent report revealed that only 21% of our youth come from homes where there are two parents. In other words, baby-mamas are the norm. This is true of southern Africa in general.

A few years back, a Cambridge A-level essay title posed the question, Can marriage as an institution be defended? Presumably the examiner had been following the rapid rise of divorce statistics and the decision by taxmen to consider cohabitation as a quasi-legal condition. In a world of polygyny, polyandry and polyamory it’s an interesting question.

It’s Mandla on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Sipho on most weekends, and the rest of the time just me and the kids

How can anyone preach morality when there’s so much variety? At the very least what we are seeing is really happening, a collective response to the times in which we live. We may not like what we see, but every individual responds to the challenges of life in her or his own way. As the ad puts it, Coming to a home near you.