Meet Cameroon’s king with 100 wives and 500 children.

Fon Abumbi 11, centre, with two of his 100 wives
Fon Abumbi 11, centre, with two of his 100 wives

He is called Abumbi 11, the fon of Bafut in north west Cameroon.

He has 100 wives after inheriting his late father’s queens as his own in compliance with the traditional belief of the place.

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

In Bafut, polygamy is not only legal, but it is customary for a king’s successor to inherit all of his wives in addition to marrying his own queens and there is no limit on how many wives one can have.

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 he king the tradition because the king had been a prince, not a king.’

A young and an old wife
  A young and an old wife of king Abumbi 11

 

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.

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Abumbi surrounded by his wives and entourage

The Cameroon government also regards traditional rulers as part of administrative auxiliary.

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

The sumptuous looking Bafut palace where the king and his wives and children dwell.
The sumptuous looking Bafut palace where the king and his wives and children dwell.
Aerial view of the magnificent palace fondly called 'Ntoh'
Aerial view of the magnificent palace fondly called ‘Ntoh’

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.

Author: Admin

The Continental Radio Station (CRS) is an online radio station run by African media savvies targeting the African and world audience.

Admin

The Continental Radio Station (CRS) is an online radio station run by African media savvies targeting the African and world audience.