The king with 100 wives


This is the African king who has close to 100 wives after inheriting his late father’s queens as his own.

Abumbi II, became the 11th fon, or king, of Bafut in Cameroon after the death of his father in 1968.

Polygamy is still legal in Cameroon and it is tradition in rural areas for men to marry more than one woman, with no limit on how many wives one can take.

But as is custom, when a king dies, his successor inherits all of his wives, meaning Abumbi now has around 100 wives having been passed 72 rom his father.

He has taken on over 500 children from all of his wives.

Queen Constance, Abumbi’s third wife, told CNN: ‘Behind every successful man must be a very successful, staunch woman.

‘Our tradition has it that when you are king, the elderly wives remain to hand down the tradition to the younger wives, and also to teach the king the tradition because the king had been a prince, not a king.’

The queens are often well spoken, speaking several languages and are accomplished in education.

The practice of polygamy is one that is often challenged in Cameroon as there are fewer polygamous marriages now than ever before.

But despite this, King Abumbi says it is his job to preserve the culture of his people and their local traditions and that his wives are very important to him.

The traditional role of the fon is to control external relations of the area, as well as internal governance.

They are also in charge of justice and offer sacrifices to his ancestors in a spiritual role.

The palace of the Fon of Baut, called Ntoh, is a major tourist attraction and is listed as one of the world’s most endangered sites.

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