Who would have thought that even the all-powerful African presidents can be cheated by their wives. Well, based on credible findings on the exposed ones, here are the African first ladies who cheat.
There is also a common belief that women are forced to stray since their husbands are notorious womanisers…they are virtually denied their conjugal rights and could starve for several months at times. This betrayed woman will therefore start sniffing other men to get even or the much attention they miss.
We can try to apply these theories to the Royal Swazi sex scandal. Besides his political commitments, King Mswati has 13 wives; one may wonder what sort of an arrangement he has made to ensure all of them are emotionally catered for.
Being human, it may take him several weeks or even months to fulfil his marital obligations. Perhaps this could mean LaDube was sexually starved and had to look for options, the same may apply to Ntuli Zuma.
Various human rights groups hold that King Mswati should not punish the wife or the erring minister since he created this mess. They assert that he has hidden his infidelity under the mask of polygamy. With the changing infidelity patterns in the continent putting more women on the limelight, one may quip that LaDube and her crew should not be brought to their knees over extra marital affairs since there is more to it than just a roving eye.
5. Nothando Dube
News about the alleged sex scandal involving Swazi King Mswati III twelfth wife, Nothando Dube, with the country’s Justice Minister, Ndumiso Mamba, hit the headlines across the world.
Despite all the hype, “LaDube”, as she is famously known in Swaziland, is not alone in this. In 2004, two of Mswati’s wives — Delisa Magwaza (LaMagwaza) and Putsoana Hwala (LaHwala) left the royal kraal following infidelity allegations.
Next door in South Africa, is another nation that has had its fair share of sex scandals too! Apart from President Zuma’s love of skirts, his second wife Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma reportedly had a steamy affair with her bodyguard Phinda Thomo, who later on committed suicide.
Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma was said to be pregnant with Mr Zuma’s 21st child, but the allegations raised questions over the baby’s paternity.
A letter from “concerned family members” of Mr Zuma, claiming that one of his three current wives had cheated on him with Phinda Thomo, one of her bodyguards, was sent to the Zulu-language newspaper Ilanga.
This however did not land anybody in jail like the Swazi’s case since the president’s family downplayed it to “protect Zuma’s image”.
3. Winnie Madikizela Mandela
A few years back, in the same country, Winnie Madikizela Mandela also allegedly had an affair with Dali Mpofu, her deputy in the African National Congress (ANC) social welfare department, something that partly contributed to her widely publicised divorce.
For a long time Winnie was Nelson Mandela’s blind spot. When he could see the future of the country so clearly, he failed to see her nature. Mr Mandela himself refused to believe a word of it. Through Winnie’s trial he stood by her, besotted, unpersuaded of her dark nature by the judge’s verdict in May 1991 that she was guilty of kidnapping and assaulting Stompie and three others. He also refused for a long time to see that two years after his release she was carrying on an affair with Dali Mpofu, a lawyer half her age.
It wasn’t as if she had gone out of her way to hide what was going on. She appointed him her deputy in the ANC’s social welfare department; she travelled with him to the United States, flying by Concorde from London, staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Early in 1992, she found out Mpofu was having an affair with another woman. It all spilled out into the open. On 17 March she wrote him a letter, later published by the Johannesburg Sunday Times. “You’re running around fucking at the slightest emotional excuse,” she wrote. “The fact that I haven’t been speaking to Tata [Nelson Mandela] for five months now over you is no longer your concern. I keep telling you the situation is deteriorating at home. You are not bothered because you are satisfying yourself every night with a woman. I won’t be your bloody fool, Dali.”
A month later, in April 1992, the ANC fired her from the welfare post and Mr Mandela announced that the marriage was over.
This string of infidelities in the south of the continent cannot be complete without mentioning Zambia’s former first lady Vera Chiluba.
2. Vera Chiluba
She was accused of having had a romantic relationship with a prominent businessperson, Archie Mactribouy, leading to her divorce.
This is all a surprising trend! In the yester years, it was the male folk who stole the limelight courtesy of their roving eyes. However, this has since changed with gender roles being redefined in various societies. Women are now turning the tables as far as extra marital affairs are concerned.
1. Grace Mugabe
–President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe has been cheating on her husband on a secret affair with Zimbabwean Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono who is also a top confidante of the president for the past fifteen years.
The 50- year old Grace who is 41 years younger than Mugabe worked as his secretary before getting into a marriage. She and Gono are reportedly said that they would meet as often as three times a month either at her dairy farm or in hotels in neighbouring South Africa.
The revelation as reported in the Sunday Times, said that on her deathbed, Mugabe’s younger sister Sabina had warned him that he was being betrayed by Mr. Gono and his wife, Grace.
Mugabe, desperate to keep the latest affair a secret, had senior police commissioner Cain Chademana, the bodyguard at his sister’s deathbed, killed in August in efforts to bury the spread of the information.
The First lady has been known for cuckolding his husband with, one former lover, Peter Pamire, who died in a mysterious car accident and another, James Makamba who took a French leave from the country.
Governor Gono, 55, is now leaving in fear as it is said, ‘once he (Mugabe) hears something like that, I think someone will go to meet God,’ a Zimbabwean intelligence official was quoted as saying.
Grace and Gono have been business partners for the last 15 years.
“Mugabe trusted Gono. He even thought our boss was taking care of the first lady, keeping a protective eye on her so that she could not again be adulterous”, said a senior official in Gono’s office.
Mugabe’s and Grace’s relationship, in itself was founded on infidelity. When Mugabe was married to former wife Sally who died in 1992, Grace already had two children in a different wedlock with an air force officer.
For so long, men have been allowed to acquire mistresses and run parallel affairs with no consequences save for risk of acquiring Sexually Transmitted Infections. Now we are seeing that the women are following suit.
The interesting bit is that these women are not looking for money or luxurious lifestyle, this time round; the ones on the spot are financially endowed.
This leads us to question why these high profile women are straying so far from their marital beds.
In her book Women’s Infidelity, Michelle Langley captures escapism as one of the reasons as to why women cheat. This comes when there are frequent fights forcing the woman to run away from their shaky marriages.
She goes on to say that many wives find their marriage plain and boring. The excitement of the love seems to fade in the marriage so a woman will move out to look for an alternative lover.
When the nights become too lonely and cold
Pastor Roger Morrison from Trinidad who specialises in Family life in the Seventh Day Adventist church argues that in some instances the wives have been marginalised and are out to seek “affirmation” through alternative means.
He adds that most marriages are “arrangements” of convenience…for “political or economic reasons” leading to sexual revolution among women arising to challenge the monotonous structure of daily life where men use sexual powers to control family.
Zainab Clarkson, a Siera Leonean who is the Vice President of Change the Perception on Africa (a political movement group) could not agree more, she observes that male ego plays a role in these high profile scandals as politicians try to dictate every single detail about their wives.
“As they are the so-called “heads” at home, they do not consider women’s advice or opinion this makes women feel worthless,” she told the Africa Review.
Some men especially on the political front leave their families back home for weeks or more at a time. In this case seeking intimacy in unwise places can happen when the nights become too lonely and cold.